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90s Slang You Should Know


[puh-noo r-ee-uh s, -nyoo r-] /pəˈnʊər i əs, -ˈnyʊər-/
extremely stingy; parsimonious; miserly.
extremely poor; destitute; indigent.
poorly or inadequately supplied; lacking in means or resources.
Origin of penurious
From the Medieval Latin word pēnūriōsus, dating back to 1590-1600. See penury, -ous
Related forms
penuriously, adverb
penuriousness, noun
unpenurious, adjective
unpenuriously, adverb
unpenuriousness, noun
1. tight, close, niggardly.
1. generous. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for penurious
Historical Examples
  • She is hard and penurious, and would hardly give him a guinea to keep him from starving.

    Sharing Her Crime May Agnes Fleming
  • His clothing appeared to indicate a penurious, grasping nature.

    Under Fire Frank A. Munsey
  • But now his mother sits alone by the side of Fontainebleau woods, where he gathered mushrooms in his hardy and penurious youth.

  • She was so penurious, that she did not give me what was necessary to sustain life.

    The Autobiography of Madame Guyon Jeanne Marie Bouvier de La Motte Guyon
  • But while the owner of Doughoregan Manor was careful, he was not penurious.

    Historic Shrines of America John T. (John Thomson) Faris
  • Could she consent to be his wife in his present penurious situation?

    Alonzo and Melissa Daniel Jackson, Jr.
  • He was an old, penurious nasty body, that bought a young wife wi his filthy siller.

    Merkland Mrs. Oliphant
  • It's a gift with me not to be penurious with my conversation.

    Sixes and Sevens O. Henry
  • "Yep," said Mr. Lamson, who was too penurious to waste words.

    The Daughter of Anderson Crow George Barr McCutcheon
  • Beware alike of penurious hoarding and selfish extravagance.

    The Mind of Jesus John R. Macduff
British Dictionary definitions for penurious


niggardly with money
lacking money or means
yielding little; scanty
Derived Forms
penuriously, adverb
penuriousness, 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 penurious

1590s, from penury + -ous, or else from Medieval Latin penuriosus, from Latin penuria "penury." Originally "poverty-stricken, in a state of penury;" meaning "stingy" is first attested 1630s. Related: Penuriously.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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