parsimony

noun par·si·mo·ny \ ˈpär-sə-ˌmō-nē \
Updated on: 28 Feb 2018

Definition of parsimony

1 a : the quality of being careful with money or resources : thrift
  • the necessity of wartime parsimony
b : the quality or state of being stingy
  • The charity was surprised by the parsimony of some larger corporations.
2 : economy in the use of means to an end; especially : economy of explanation in conformity with Occam's razor
  • the scientific law of parsimony dictates that any example of animal behavior should be interpreted at its simplest, most immediate level
  • —Peter Gorner

Examples of parsimony in a Sentence

  1. The charity was surprised by the parsimony of some larger corporations.

  2. her parsimony was so extreme that she'd walk five miles to the store to save a few cents on gas

Recent Examples of parsimony from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of parsimony

Middle English parcimony, borrowed from Latin parsimōnia, from pars-, perfect stem of parcere "to act sparingly, be thrifty (with), refrain from" (of uncertain origin) + -i- -i- + -mōnia, suffix of abstract nouns (going back to the Indo-European noun-forming suffix -mĕ̄n-/mŏ̄n- + the abstract noun formative -i-)

PARSIMONY Defined for English Language Learners

parsimony

Definition of parsimony for English Language Learners

  • : the quality of being very unwilling to spend money



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