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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Examples of niggardly in a Sentence

she's a niggardly woman, so don't expect a handout from her niggardly portions of meat for dinner
Recent Examples on the Web 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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about niggardly

Time Traveler for niggardly

Time Traveler

The first known use of niggardly was in 1563

See more words from the same year

Statistics for niggardly

Cite this Entry

“Niggardly.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 9 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for niggardly


How to pronounce niggardly (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of niggardly

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on niggardly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for niggardly

Spanish Central: Translation of niggardly

Nglish: Translation of niggardly for Spanish Speakers

Comments on niggardly

What made you want to look up niggardly? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


contradictory or incongruous words

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!