[ cheep-skeyt ]
/ ˈtʃipˌskeɪt /
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Definition of cheapskate

a person who is stingy and miserly.
verb (used without object), cheap·skat·ed, cheap·skat·ing.
to act in a stingy or miserly way.
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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

Origin of cheapskate

An Americanism dating back to 1895–1900; cheap + skate3

Words nearby cheapskate

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does cheapskate mean?

A cheapskate is a person who doesn’t like to give or spend money—someone who’s stingy.

Cheapskate is a very informal word that’s always used in a negative way, as an insult.

Example: Some cheapskate left me a quarter and two pennies as a tip today.

Where does cheapskate come from?

The first records of cheapskate come from the 1890s. It’s a combination of the word cheap, meaning “stingy,” and the word skate, which can be used as a negative slang term for a person who’s generally disliked.

Cheapskates are not good tippers. And don’t expect them to spend much on a gift—if they buy you one at all! Cheapskates typically avoid spending money however they can. While some similar terms like penny pincher can be used in a positive way (implying that someone is wisely frugal) or a negative way (implying that someone is stingy), cheapskate is always used negatively. It’s an insult very similar to words like tightwad and skinflint.

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What are some synonyms for cheapskate?

What are some words that share a root or word element with cheapskate

What are some words that often get used in discussing cheapskate?

How is cheapskate used in real life?

Cheapskate is always used negatively, but some people apply it to themselves as a source of pride.


Try using cheapskate!

Which of the following words is LEAST likely to be used to describe someone considered a cheapskate?

A. generous
B. stingy
C. tight-fisted
D. miserly

How to use cheapskate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for cheapskate

/ (ˈtʃiːpˌskeɪt) /

informal a miserly person
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with cheapskate

cheap skate

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]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.