par·​si·​mo·​ny | \ ˈpär-sə-ˌmō-nē How to pronounce parsimony (audio) \

Definition of parsimony

1a : 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

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Examples of parsimony in a Sentence

The charity was surprised by the parsimony of some larger corporations. her parsimony was so extreme that she'd walk five miles to the store to save a few cents on gas
Recent Examples on the Web In the battle of the post-war memoirs, Montgomery still blamed him for his parsimony (while admitting to mistakes of his own). The Economist, "Anthony Beevor’s new history of Arnhem," 24 May 2018 Consider, for example, the 1947 debut of Christian Dior’s New Look, using yards and yards of fabric to create full calf-length skirts — utterly shocking after the necessary parsimony of wartime. Lauren Elkin, New York Times, "Eavesdropping on Beauvoir, Sartre and Their Circle of Friends," 4 May 2018 But the federal government’s parsimony toward Puerto Rico goes beyond the current administration. Mattathias Schwartz, Daily Intelligencer, "Hurricane Maria Was a Natural Catastrophe. The Aftermath Is a Man-Made Disaster.," 22 Dec. 2017 But there was no direct and effective way to bemoan the post-Bernie Madoff parsimony of the team’s owners or the Sandy Alderson regime’s struggles in the draft. Jack Dickey,, "An Ode to Mets Trainer Ray Ramirez: The Snakebitten Trainer for a Snakebitten Team," 3 Oct. 2017 The importance of global parsimony and historical bias in understanding tetrapod evolution. Darren Naish, Scientific American Blog Network, "The Microsaurs of Yore," 7 July 2017 But Sense Labs is looking beyond parsimony and pathology. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "Home Monitoring Will Soon Monitor You," 11 Nov. 2016 Advocates of higher corporate investment say German parsimony is troubling, because the economy depends to such a large degree on research- and capital-intensive industries. Nina Adam, WSJ, "Germany Inc. Sits on $500 Billion in Cash Amid Weak Outlook," 25 Oct. 2016

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.

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First Known Use of parsimony

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for 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-)

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Time Traveler for parsimony

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The first known use of parsimony was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Parsimony.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce parsimony (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of parsimony

formal : the quality of being very unwilling to spend money

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with parsimony

Britannica English: Translation of parsimony for Arabic Speakers

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