penny-wise and/but pound-foolish

idiom
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of penny-wise and/but pound-foolish

: careful about small amounts of money but not about large amounts used especially to describe something that is done to save a small amount of money now but that will cost a large amount of money in the future
  • The plans to cut funding are penny-wise and pound-foolish.

Word by Word Definitions

penny-wise play
  1. : wise or prudent only in dealing with small sums or matters

pound-foolish play
  1. : imprudent in dealing with large sums or large matters


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