stin·​gy | \ˈstin-jē \
stingier; stingiest

Definition of stingy 

1 : not generous or liberal : sparing or scant in using, giving, or spending stingy with the salt stingy employee benefits

2 : meanly scanty or small stingy portions of meat

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Other Words from stingy

stingily \ˈstin-​jə-​lē \ adverb
stinginess \ˈstin-​jē-​nəs \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for stingy

stingy, close, niggardly, parsimonious, penurious, miserly mean being unwilling or showing unwillingness to share with others. stingy implies a marked lack of generosity. a stingy child, not given to sharing close suggests keeping a tight grip on one's money and possessions. folks who are very close when charity calls niggardly implies giving or spending the very smallest amount possible. the niggardly amount budgeted for the town library parsimonious suggests a frugality so extreme as to lead to stinginess. a parsimonious lifestyle notably lacking in luxuries penurious implies niggardliness that gives an appearance of actual poverty. the penurious eccentric bequeathed a fortune miserly suggests a sordid avariciousness and a morbid pleasure in hoarding. a miserly couple devoid of social conscience

Examples of stingy in a Sentence

The company was too stingy to raise salaries. until his redemption, Ebenezer Scrooge is the classic example of a very stingy, heartless miser

Recent Examples on the Web

Democrats think high-deductible insurance is too stingy, which is ironic since ObamaCare has driven Americans into high-deductible insurance as other options become less affordable. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The GOP’s Clean Bills of Health Savings," 29 July 2018 The writers have been stingy with details about Kim’s past. Don Steinberg, WSJ, "The Working-Woman Hero of ‘Better Call Saul’," 1 Aug. 2018 In the most intriguing matchup, Duke, led by Grayson Allen, will meet the resilient and defensively stingy Syracuse, an 11-seed. Andrew R. Chow, New York Times, "What’s on TV Friday: ‘March of the Penguins 2’ and ‘Roxanne Roxanne’," 23 Mar. 2018 While recent service increases were welcome, if short-lived, the IRS continues to suffer from years of stingy funding. Joe Davidson, Washington Post, "IRS chief says Trump’s budget would sharply cut taxpayer service," 1 June 2018 Rutgers is the stingiest team in the Big Ten against 3-pointers, as teams are shooting 31.2 percent over Rutgers' 20 games. George Sipple, Detroit Free Press, "No. 24 Michigan basketball vs. Rutgers: Five things to watch on Sunday," 20 Jan. 2018 This game matches up the two stingiest defenses in the WNBA. Clevis Murray, azcentral, "Mercury prepare for Atlanta Dream," 6 July 2018 At the same time, Portugal’s defense, the one that was so stingy during the team’s winning Euro 2016 run, hadn’t looked as stout throughout this tournament. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "For Portugal, It’s All About Ronaldo in Loss to Uruguay in the World Cup," 30 June 2018 Anyway, stay tuned for next week when Trump privately presses for the Department of Veterans Affairs to quit being so stingy and pony up the dough. Bess Levin, The Hive, "Village Idiot Now Wants the Military to Pay for His Mexican Border Wall," 27 Mar. 2018

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

1659, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for stingy

perhaps from English dialect *stinge, noun, sting; akin to Old English stingan to sting

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Dictionary Entries near stingy



sting winkle





Statistics for stingy

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stingy

The first known use of stingy was in 1659

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More Definitions for stingy



English Language Learners Definition of stingy

: not liking or wanting to give or spend money : not generous

: small in size or amount


stin·​gy | \ˈstin-jē \
stingier; stingiest

Kids Definition of stingy

1 : not generous

2 : very small in amount a stingy portion

Other Words from stingy

stinginess \-​jē-​nəs \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on stingy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stingy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stingy

Spanish Central: Translation of stingy

Nglish: Translation of stingy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stingy for Arabic Speakers

Comments on stingy

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to make faulty or ineffective

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