par·​si·​mo·​ny | \ ˈpär-sə-ˌmō-nē How to pronounce parsimony (audio) \

Definition of parsimony

1a : the quality of being careful with money or resources : thrift the necessity of wartime parsimony
b : the quality or state of being stingy The charity was surprised by the parsimony of some larger corporations.
2 : economy in the use of means to an end especially : economy of explanation in conformity with Occam's razor the scientific law of parsimony dictates that any example of animal behavior should be interpreted at its simplest, most immediate level — Peter Gorner

Examples of parsimony in a Sentence

The charity was surprised by the parsimony of some larger corporations. her parsimony was so extreme that she'd walk five miles to the store to save a few cents on gas
Recent Examples on the Web His record in the Premier League, in particular, in recent years has been built as much on defensive parsimony as attacking threat. New York Times, 13 Apr. 2022 At the conference this year, delegates from developing countries said this parsimony had undermined their trust in the U.N. process. Simon Montlake, The Christian Science Monitor, 19 Nov. 2021 The likely answer is that what’s true today has always been true: parsimony is the surest path to wealth. John Tamny, Forbes, 13 Oct. 2021 Perhaps there is some megolamania in Diller’s act of philanthropy, but philanthropy still serves us better than selfish parsimony or profligate self-indulgence. Washington Post, 5 Aug. 2021 The speculation about Chinese owner Suning considering selling Inter could be fueling the parsimony. Rob Harris, Star Tribune, 1 Feb. 2021 Canada’s stance overall was one of government generosity to persons and parsimony to businesses. Philip Cross, National Review, 12 Aug. 2020 In the battle of the post-war memoirs, Montgomery still blamed him for his parsimony (while admitting to mistakes of his own). The Economist, 24 May 2018 Consider, for example, the 1947 debut of Christian Dior’s New Look, using yards and yards of fabric to create full calf-length skirts — utterly shocking after the necessary parsimony of wartime. Lauren Elkin, New York Times, 4 May 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'parsimony.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of parsimony

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for parsimony

Middle English parcimony, borrowed from Latin parsimōnia, from pars-, perfect stem of parcere "to act sparingly, be thrifty (with), refrain from" (of uncertain origin) + -i- -i- + -mōnia, suffix of abstract nouns (going back to the Indo-European noun-forming suffix *-mĕ̄n-/*mŏ̄n- + the abstract noun formative *-i-)

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The first known use of parsimony was in the 15th century

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pars legitima

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Last Updated

19 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Parsimony.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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Britannica English: Translation of parsimony for Arabic Speakers


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