- a person who is stingy and miserly.
- to act in a stingy or miserly way.
Origin of cheapskate
- informal a miserly person
also cheap skate, "miserly person," 1896, from cheap (adj.), second element perhaps from American English slang skate "worn-out horse" (1894), of uncertain origin.
A stingy person, as in He's a real cheap skate when it comes to tipping. This idiom combines cheap (for “penurious”) with the slang usage of skate for a contemptible or low individual. It has largely replaced the earlier cheap John. [Slang; late 1800s]