nig·​gard·​ly | \ ˈni-gərd-lē How to pronounce niggardly (audio) \

Definition of niggardly

1 : grudgingly mean about spending or granting : begrudging … management was being niggardly with raises.— Dana Canedy
2 : provided in meanly limited supply niggardly funding of planetary science.— Richard Wolkomir

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Other Words from niggardly

niggardliness noun
niggardly adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for niggardly

stingy, close, niggardly, parsimonious, penurious, miserly mean being unwilling or showing unwillingness to share with others. stingy implies a marked lack of generosity. a stingy child, not given to sharing close suggests keeping a tight grip on one's money and possessions. folks who are very close when charity calls niggardly implies giving or spending the very smallest amount possible. the niggardly amount budgeted for the town library parsimonious suggests a frugality so extreme as to lead to stinginess. a parsimonious lifestyle notably lacking in luxuries penurious implies niggardliness that gives an appearance of actual poverty. the penurious eccentric bequeathed a fortune miserly suggests a sordid avariciousness and a morbid pleasure in hoarding. a miserly couple devoid of social conscience

Usage of Niggard and Niggardly

The words niggard and niggardly are etymologically unrelated to the highly offensive and inflammatory racial slur euphemistically referred to as the N-word, despite the words' visual and auditory resemblance to it. Because of that resemblance, however, both niggard and niggardly are sometimes taken to be offensive.

Examples of niggardly in a Sentence

niggardly portions of meat for dinner
Recent Examples on the Web Many Chileans are angry about the country’s unequal distribution of wealth and power, about niggardly pensions (for which people are supposed to save themselves) and about long waiting times for doctors’ visits and poor schools. The Economist, "2019 in review: protest and populism in Latin America," 25 Dec. 2019 To tap one of the country’s two largest and most niggardly mines is hard enough. The Economist, "Pakistan’s biggest private-sector firm bets on a fabled coal mine," 3 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'niggardly.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of niggardly

1563, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for niggardly

Time Traveler

The first known use of niggardly was in 1563

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Cite this Entry

“Niggardly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for niggardly



English Language Learners Definition of niggardly

formal + disapproving
: hating to spend money
: very small in amount

More from Merriam-Webster on niggardly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for niggardly

Nglish: Translation of niggardly for Spanish Speakers

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