- reluctant to give or spend; stingy; miserly.
- meanly or ungenerously small or scanty: a niggardly tip to a waiter.
- in the manner of a niggard.
Origin of niggardly
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. penurious, miserly, mean, tight, avaricious, mercenary, illiberal, close. 2. poor.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- stingy or ungenerous
- meagrea niggardly salary
- stingily; grudgingly
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
Word Origin and History for niggardly
It was while giving a speech in Washington, to a very international audience, about the British theft of the Elgin marbles from the Parthenon. I described the attitude of the current British authorities as "niggardly." Nobody said anything, but I privately resolved -- having felt the word hanging in the air a bit -- to say "parsimonious" from then on. [Christopher Hitchens, "The Pernicious Effects of Banning Words," Slate.com, Dec. 4, 2006]
As an adverb from 1520s. Related: Niggardliness.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper