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[skrimp] /skrɪmp/
verb (used without object)
to be sparing or frugal; economize (often followed by on):
They scrimped and saved for everything they have. He spends most of his money on clothes, and scrimps on food.
verb (used with object)
to be sparing or restrictive of or in; limit severely:
to scrimp food.
to keep on short allowance; provide sparingly for:
to scrimp their elderly parents.
Origin of scrimp
1710-20; < Scandinavian; compare Swedish skrympa, Norwegian, Danish skrumpe (orig. *skrimpa, strong v.) to shrivel, cognate with Middle High German schrimpfen to contract; see shrimp
Related forms
unscrimped, adjective
1. skimp, stint, save, scrape. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for scrimp
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He felt that he had earned a good one, and did not intend to scrimp himself.

    Flint Maud Wilder Goodwin
  • The manager has a fixed salary, so that there is no temptation to scrimp the buyers.

  • The news was entirely unexpected and very unwelcome to Mrs. scrimp.

    Grandmother Elsie Martha Finley
  • "I've always had medical advice for her when it was needed," snapped Mrs. scrimp.

    Grandmother Elsie Martha Finley
  • Mrs. scrimp and Gracie were already seated at the table and had began their meal.

    Grandmother Elsie Martha Finley
  • In the meantime, in the house, Edith had tried to scrimp and save, but it was very difficult.

    His Family Ernest Poole
  • I know what it is like to scrimp and save, and my children are going to be spared that!

    The Killer Stewart Edward White
  • They would get along; scrimp and save; even move to Brooklyn, maybe.

    Bunker Bean

    Harry Leon Wilson
  • And so they live beyond their means or else they scrimp and suffer.

    Through the Eye of the Needle William Dean Howells
British Dictionary definitions for scrimp


when intr, sometimes foll by on. to be very economical or sparing in the use (of) (esp in the phrase scrimp and save)
(transitive) to treat meanly: he is scrimping his children
(transitive) to cut too small
a less common word for scant
Derived Forms
scrimpy, adjective
scrimpily, adverb
scrimpiness, noun
Word Origin
C18: Scottish, origin unknown
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 scrimp

"to make too small," 1774, originally in English an adjective, "scant, meager" (1718), possibly from a Scandinavian source (cf. Swedish skrumpna "to shrink, shrivel up," Danish skrumpen "shrunken, shriveled"), or from a continental Germanic source akin to Middle High German schrimpfen, German schrumpfen "to shrivel," from Proto-Germanic *skrimp-, from PIE root *(s)kerb- "to turn, bend." Related: Scrimped; scrimping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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