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[pahr-suh-moh-nee] /ˈpɑr səˌmoʊ ni/
extreme or excessive economy or frugality; stinginess; niggardliness.
Origin of parsimony
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English parcimony < Latin parsimōnia, parcimōnia frugality, thrift, equivalent to parsi- (combining form of parsus, past participle of parcere to economize) or parci- (combining form of parcus sparing) + -mōnia -mony Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for parsimony
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But with the operations of magic Rodogune had delighted to supersede the parsimony of nature.

    Imogen William Godwin
  • I had often heard of the thrift and parsimony of Herr Oppovich's household.

    That Boy Of Norcott's Charles James Lever
  • Mre charged Pop with parsimony and he charged her with recklessness.

    In a Little Town Rupert Hughes
  • parsimony was her great virtue, and a power of saving her strong point.

    Orley Farm

    Anthony Trollope
  • It is not parsimony or unwillingness to give, but a disposition to save.

    Usury Calvin Elliott
  • What is the cause of this parsimony of the liberty which you dole out to the people?

  • And yet you call us rebels, and accuse us of meanness and of parsimony.

    Richard Carvel, Complete Winston Churchill
  • I plead for the "law of parsimony," and the economizing of energy.

    Illogical Geology George McCready Price
  • parsimony was a fixed trait of her character; she could not help it.

    Genius in Sunshine and Shadow Maturin Murray Ballou
British Dictionary definitions for parsimony


extreme care or reluctance in spending; frugality; niggardliness
Derived Forms
parsimonious (ˌpɑːsɪˈməʊnɪəs) adjective
parsimoniously, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Latin parcimōnia, from parcere to spare
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 parsimony

early 15c., from Latin parsimonia "sparingness, frugality, thrift," from pars-, past participle stem of parsi, perfect tense of parcere "to spare, save, refrain from, use moderately" (which is said to be unrelated to Latin parvus "small," parum "too little") + -monia, suffix signifying action, state, or condition.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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