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[mahy-zer-lee] /ˈmaɪ zər li/
of, like, or befitting a miser; penurious; stingy; niggardly.
Origin of miserly
First recorded in 1585-95; miser + -ly
Related forms
miserliness, noun
unmiserly, adjective
cheap, parsimonious.
Synonym Study
See stingy1. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for miserly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It'll cost him more than he'll ever get from my miserly uncle to repair it.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • I admired her charms, and I was delighted to see that she was not miserly in their display.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
  • Ruth remembered what Roberto had said about his miserly grandmother.

  • Ruth Fielding was an orphan and came to live with her miserly uncle.

  • He was so careful, so—so miserly in some ways, so wildly extravagant in others.

    Good Old Anna Marie Belloc Lowndes
  • Mean and miserly as he was, he agreed to this with reluctance, and only as a measure of necessity.

    The Telegraph Boy Horatio Alger, Jr.
  • Ask her to bear corn or pasture flocks, and she will be miserly and grudging.

    Robert Elsmere Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • It was not that Uncle Abimelech was miserly or that he grudged us assistance.

  • A miserly daw, who would not risk a crown to save the crown.

    The Lady of Loyalty House Justin Huntly McCarthy
British Dictionary definitions for miserly


of or resembling a miser; avaricious
Derived Forms
miserliness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for miserly

1590s, from miser + -ly (1). Related: Miserliness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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