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[thrift] /θrɪft/
economical management; economy; frugality.
Also called thrift institution. Banking. a savings and loan association, savings bank, or credit union.
Also called sea pink. any alpine and maritime plant belonging to the genus Armeria, of the leadwort family, having pink or white flowers, especially A. maritima, noted for its vigorous growth.
any of various allied plants.
vigorous growth, as of a plant.
Obsolete. prosperity.
Origin of thrift
1200-50; Middle English < Old Norse: well being, prosperity; cf. thrive
Related forms
nonthrift, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for thrift
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • If he felt a respect for her thrift it was completely unacknowledged.

    Dust Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
  • Does not this thrift prove that anxiety for the morrow is not after all quite unknown here?'

    Freeland Theodor Hertzka
  • Its main market was at Bruges in Flanders, which was then a bee-hive of industry and thrift.

    The Railroad Question William Larrabee
  • For thrift, grit and perseverance, are a few of the rough grains in his character.

    The Book of Khalid Ameen Rihani
  • This is closely related to character and morality, to thrift and success.

British Dictionary definitions for thrift


wisdom and caution in the management of money
Also called sea pink. any of numerous perennial plumbaginaceous low-growing plants of the genus Armeria, esp A. maritima, of Europe, W Asia, and North America, having narrow leaves and round heads of pink or white flowers
(rare) vigorous thriving or growth, as of a plant
(US) a building society, savings bank, or credit union
an obsolete word for prosperity
Derived Forms
thriftless, adjective
thriftlessly, adverb
thriftlessness, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old Norse: success; see thrive
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 thrift

c.1300, "fact or condition of thriving," also "prosperity, savings," from Middle English thriven "to thrive" (see thrive), possibly influenced by Old Norse þrift, variant of þrif "prosperity," from þrifask "to thrive." Sense of "habit of saving, economy" first recorded 1550s (thrifty in this sense is recorded from 1520s; also see spendthrift). Thrift shop attested by 1919.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for thrift



A savings and loan association (1980s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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