\ˈthrift \

Definition of thrift 

1 : careful management especially of money

2 : a savings bank or savings and loan association

called also thrift institution

3 : healthy and vigorous growth

4 chiefly Scotland : gainful occupation

5 : any of a genus (Armeria) of low-growing perennial evergreen herbs of the plumbago family especially : a tufted herb (A. maritima) with pink or white flower heads

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Examples of thrift in a Sentence

Through hard work and thrift they sent all of their children to college. through hard work and thrift our father was able to raise the money to put all four of us through college

Recent Examples on the Web

The existing tenants include a law office, an escape room business and a thrift store. Mike Danahey, Elgin Courier-News, "Real estate manager has bought 14 buildings in Elgin in 4 years — he's 'taking a bet' on the city," 13 July 2018 This is not the first time someone has accidentally donated a person's ashes to a thrift store. Mark Price, charlotteobserver, "Goodwill customer buys dresser, finds death certificate - and human ashes - in drawer," 11 July 2018 After stepping down from Equitable in 1983, Mr. Middelton joined Legg Mason as a senior vice president and represented the investment firm in corporate finance activities regarding banks and thrift institutions. Frederick N. Rasmussen,, "James W. 'Bill' Middelton, former bank president and investment banker, dies," 13 July 2018 In 2016, the judge listed three credit cards, each with balances of between $15,001 and $50,000, among his liabilities, as well as a loan from a thrift savings plan in the same range. Peter Nicholas, WSJ, "Disclosures Show Modest Finances for Supreme Court Nominee," 11 July 2018 And the Prius Prime is the thrift-prince at 55 mpg city, 53 highway and 54 mpg combined on 87 octane. Mark Maynard,, "2018 Toyota Prius Prime: Nothing fancy, just 640 miles on a tank," 8 June 2018 Students of the time could have put thrift over memory. Jennifer Billock, The Atlantic, "Why Do People Sign Yearbooks?," 3 June 2018 McCain was one of five senators accused of trying to pressure federal thrift regulators to back off a political benefactor, financier and developer Charles H. Keating Jr. Eliza Collins, USA TODAY, "John McCain HBO documentary highlights Arizona senator's life, 'warts and all'," 17 May 2018 Every pair looks convincingly vintage, but without the hassle of digging through a thrift store bin. Emily Farra, Vogue, "No Skinnies, No Holes, No Logos: Slvrlake Is Redefining Premium Denim," 15 May 2018

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for thrift

Middle English, from Old Norse, prosperity, from thrīfask to thrive

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Statistics for thrift

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Time Traveler for thrift

The first known use of thrift was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for thrift



English Language Learners Definition of thrift

: careful use of money so that it is not wasted

: a business like a bank that is used for saving money : a savings bank or a savings and loan association


\ˈthrift \

Kids Definition of thrift

: careful management especially of money



Legal Definition of thrift 

: an institution that promotes saving and provides mortgages especially : savings and loan association

called also thrift institution

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Comments on thrift

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


a state of commotion or excitement

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