noun sav·ing \ ˈsā-viŋ \
|Updated on: 19 Aug 2018

Definition of saving

1 : preservation from danger or destruction : deliverance
2 : the act or an instance of economizing
3 a savings plural : money put by
b : the excess of income over consumption expenditures often used in plural
c : a usually specified lower cost often used in plural
  • a savings of 50 percent

Examples of saving in a Sentence

  1. The new system will provide a saving in labor.

  2. How much money do you have in savings?

  3. She has her savings in stocks.

  4. They were able to retire on their savings.

Recent Examples of saving from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of saving

Middle English, from gerund of saven to save




Definition of saving

1 : except, save
2 : without disrespect to

Examples of saving in a Sentence

  1. saving three members, the club is now fully committed to the fund-raising project

Origin and Etymology of saving

Middle English, from present participle of saven




Definition of saving

Examples of saving in a Sentence

  1. I would be ready, saving the fact that I can't find my missing shoe.

First Known Use of saving


in the meaning defined above

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saving Synonyms


but, except (also excepting), only, yet;

Financial Definition of SAVING


What It Is

In economics, savings is the amount that is left after spending. In banking, savings refers to savings accounts, which are short-term, interest-bearing deposits with a bank or other financial institution.

How It Works

There are only two things to do with money: Save it or spend it. For example, let's say John Doe's paycheck is $1,600 every two weeks, or $3,200 a month. His expenses are the following:

Rent: $1,300
Car payment: $450
Student loan payment: $450
Credit card payment: $300
Groceries: $250
Utilities: $75
Cell phone: $75
Gas: $100
Total expenses: $3,000

Because John spends $3,000 of his $3,200 income per month, he saves $200.

If John's expenses are higher than his income, he is not saving; he is living paycheck-to-paycheck. If he gets fired, has an emergency or his company closes in two weeks, he would have little backup.

In banking terms, savings accounts are time deposits, meaning that a bank can require the account holder to give notice before withdrawing the funds or impose a penalty for withdrawal before a specified date. The interest rates on savings accounts vary by institution but are generally lower than interest rates on longer-term deposits, such as CDs or even money market accounts. Interest is usually compounded monthly.

Why It Matters

It is dangerous not to save money. Not only is it financially risky, it creates unnecessary stress. To enable savings, John must reduce his expenses so that they are less than his income, and he should make regular, disciplined deposits into a savings and/or investment vehicle.

Ironically, when a country saves so much money that it hardly spends anything, its economy can suffer. This is called the paradox of thrift, which is an economic theory developed by John Maynard Keynes that states that the more people save, the less they spend and thus the less they stimulate the economy.

It is important to note that the interest rate paid on a savings account may be below the inflation rate, meaning that the account actually might lose purchasing power over time despite the interest earned.

SAVING Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of saving for English Language Learners

  • : an amount of something that is not spent or used

  • savings : the amount of money that you have saved especially in a bank over a period of time

SAVING Defined for Kids


noun sav·ing \ ˈsā-viŋ \

Definition of saving for Students

1 : something that is not spent, wasted, or lost
  • a saving in electricity
2 savings plural : money put aside (as in a bank)

Seen and Heard

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