scrimped; scrimping; scrimps

transitive verb

: to be stingy in providing for
: to make too small, short, or scanty

intransitive verb

: to be frugal or stingy
scrimpy adjective

Example Sentences

They scrimped and saved for their big vacation. had to scrimp and save for years in order to be able to afford a house
Recent Examples on the Web Music fans who would give anything to see their favorite artists live are paying hundreds and scrimping elsewhere as ticket prices soar. Rachel Wolfe,, 20 Apr. 2023 Within this austerity, the supporting cast does, like Nora, still manage to scrimp and save and come up with something good. Vulture, 9 Mar. 2023 Ray scrimped on food and bought a CD player. Billboard China, Billboard, 6 Mar. 2023 And don’t scrimp. Marni Jameson,, 26 Mar. 2021 Don’t scrimp, since quality fabric and years of longevity shouldn’t come cheap. Christian Gollayan, Men's Health, 6 Mar. 2023 But that is not enough to keep up with inflation, and many Americans are having to scrimp to pay for groceries, gasoline, even school supplies. Paul Wiseman, ajc, 5 Aug. 2022 Keep costs low but don’t scrimp on style with this flickering flame candle. Maya Polton, Better Homes & Gardens, 16 Nov. 2022 In days of yore, housewives often needed to scrimp, even on essentials. Richard Lederer, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Nov. 2022 See More

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

Word History


perhaps of Scandinavian origin; akin to Swedish skrympa to shrink, Middle Low German schrempen to contract — more at shrimp

First Known Use

circa 1691, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of scrimp was circa 1691

Dictionary Entries Near scrimp

Cite this Entry

“Scrimp.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


: to make too small or short : skimp
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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