stin·​gy ˈstin-jē How to pronounce stingy (audio)
stingier; stingiest
: not generous or liberal : sparing or scant in using, giving, or spending
stingy with the salt
stingy employee benefits
: meanly scanty or small
stingy portions of meat
stingily adverb
stinginess 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 The Bruins let stingy judging dictate their energy, McDonald said of the team’s 48.875-point total on the event. Thuc Nhi Nguyen, Los Angeles Times, 20 Feb. 2024 Yet their stingy range and tiny gasoline tanks are never a factor for fans and buyers, because every rider knows there’s a 3-minute fill-up available at any gas station. IEEE Spectrum, 8 Feb. 2024 And with that much battery in reserve, there’s no need to be stingy about sharing your portable charger with a friend or family member. Merrell Readman, Travel + Leisure, 18 Dec. 2023 The Chiefs, who have a stingy defense, entered the game ranked No. 2 in total defense (289.8 yards allowed per game) and No. 4 against the pass (176.5 ypg). Steve Svekis, Sun Sentinel, 13 Jan. 2024 Meanwhile, the Cavaliers relied on a stingy defense to lead the way and make things a little easier offensively in the process. Timothy Dashiell, Baltimore Sun, 12 Jan. 2024 Some plans failed to activate, and others charged exorbitant rates for stingy amounts of cellular data. Brian X. Chen, New York Times, 10 Jan. 2024 Though not the stingiest on our list, the 10-day return window with customers responsible for costs is tough. Carrie Honaker, Southern Living, 11 Sep. 2023 In December, the Clippers are now 5-0 in games within five points in the last five minutes because that defense has become one of the stingiest, allowing Dallas three points during Wednesday’s final 3:46. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, 21 Dec. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'stingy.' 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 from English dialect *stinge, noun, sting; akin to Old English stingan to sting

First Known Use

1659, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of stingy was in 1659

Dictionary Entries Near stingy

Cite this Entry

“Stingy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


stin·​gy ˈstin-jē How to pronounce stingy (audio)
stingier; stingiest
: not generous : giving, using, or spending as little as possible
: scanty, meager
a stingy portion
stingily adverb
stinginess noun

More from Merriam-Webster on stingy

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