pound-foolish

adjective

pound-fool·​ish ˈpau̇n(d)-ˈfü-lish How to pronounce pound-foolish (audio)
: imprudent in dealing with large sums or large matters

Examples of pound-foolish in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Having these tenants lose their apartments and become homeless is penny-wise and pound-foolish. Voice Of The People, New York Daily News, 20 Feb. 2024 Ironically, its source is here on Earth: Congress, which has the penny-wise but pound-foolish policy of releasing just a trickle of funding to the space agency every year, hobbles many of NASA's mission goals that require thinking past a two-year House or six-year Senate term. Phil Plait, Scientific American, 30 Oct. 2023 On the other hand, avoid being penny-wise, pound-foolish. Kristine Gill, Better Homes & Gardens, 12 Jan. 2024 Ironically, its source is here on Earth: Congress, which has the penny-wise but pound-foolish policy of releasing just a trickle of funding to the space agency every year, hobbles many of nasa's mission goals that require thinking past a two-year House or six-year Senate term. Phil Plait, Scientific American, 30 Oct. 2023 Delaying investments in sustainable energy and climate adaptation (such as coastal retreat in response to sea-level rise) is penny-wise but immensely pound-foolish. Corinne Purtill, Los Angeles Times, 18 Aug. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pound-foolish.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

from the phrase penny-wise and pound-foolish

First Known Use

1598, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pound-foolish was in 1598

Dictionary Entries Near pound-foolish

Cite this Entry

“Pound-foolish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pound-foolish. Accessed 17 Jul. 2024.

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