\ ˈskim-pē How to pronounce skimpy (audio) \
skimpier; skimpiest

Definition of skimpy

: deficient in supply or execution especially through skimping : scanty

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Other Words from skimpy

skimpily \ ˈskim-​pə-​lē How to pronounce skimpily (audio) \ adverb
skimpiness \ ˈskim-​pē-​nəs How to pronounce skimpiness (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for skimpy

meager, scanty, scant, skimpy, spare, sparse mean falling short of what is normal, necessary, or desirable. meager implies the absence of elements, qualities, or numbers necessary to a thing's richness, substance, or potency. a meager portion of meat scanty stresses insufficiency in amount, quantity, or extent. supplies too scanty to last the winter scant suggests a falling short of what is desired or desirable rather than of what is essential. in January the daylight hours are scant skimpy usually suggests niggardliness or penury as the cause of the deficiency. tacky housing developments on skimpy lots spare may suggest a slight falling short of adequacy or merely an absence of superfluity. a spare, concise style of writing sparse implies a thin scattering of units. a sparse population

Examples of skimpy in a Sentence

the information in the user's manual for the microwave is skimpy and not particularly helpful

Recent Examples on the Web

All that uncertainty makes alternate revenue streams crucial, especially for grocers, which generate much skimpier margins than, say, fashion or luxury retailers. Matthew Boyle, The Seattle Times, "Amazon has a big advertising business. Walmart wants one too," 19 Feb. 2019 Details on both were skimpy, but perhaps HTC’s finally landed upon a proper Oculus Quest competitor. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "HTC reveals two new VR headsets, the untethered Vive Cosmos and gaze-tracking Vive Pro Eye," 7 Jan. 2019 Over the weekend, Russian supermodel Irina Shayk posted a seriously skimpy mirror selfie, while posing in some Intimissimi lingerie. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Irina Shayk Just Posted the Most Incredible Mirror Selfie & I Am Inspired," 3 Feb. 2019 Among them: In June, the administration announced that insurance companies can now offer skimpier, short-term plans that don’t have the benefits and protections, including coverage for the preventive services that Obamacare ensured. Julia Belluz, Vox, "How the slow sabotage of Obamacare may hurt America’s breastfeeding rate," 13 July 2018 So plans that discriminate against people with preexisting conditions or that offer skimpier benefits — practices Obamacare tried to end — could suddenly benefit from its generous subsidies. Dylan Scott, Vox, "We have a new worst-case scenario for Obamacare," 3 Dec. 2018 My skimpy, short, itty-bitty-baby lashes suddenly looked thick, full, and fluttery, as if I were born with naturally killer lashes. Chelsea Peng, Marie Claire, "7 Game-Changing Mascara Techniques You've Probably Never Considered Before," 4 May 2015 And my father’s new girlfriend, with her belly button piercing, skimpy clothing, and wild mane, became a stand-in for Angelina. Samantha Leach, Glamour, "My Parents Divorced at the Same Time as Brad and Jen—and Yes, There Was an Angelina," 29 Nov. 2018 The Trump administration has already taken several major steps to make these skimpier plans more available, issuing two regulations this year to loosen requirements on health plans. Noam N. Levey, The Seattle Times, "Trump administration takes another step to allow plans that don’t cover pre-existing health conditions," 22 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'skimpy.' 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 skimpy

1842, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near skimpy

skim off





skin and bones


Statistics for skimpy

Last Updated

5 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for skimpy

The first known use of skimpy was in 1842

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More Definitions for skimpy



English Language Learners Definition of skimpy

: very small in size or amount


\ ˈskim-pē How to pronounce skimpy (audio) \
skimpier; skimpiest

Kids Definition of skimpy

: very small in size or amount : scanty

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More from Merriam-Webster on skimpy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with skimpy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for skimpy

Spanish Central: Translation of skimpy

Nglish: Translation of skimpy for Spanish Speakers

Comments on skimpy

What made you want to look up skimpy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


of or relating to a parable or parabola

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