[ froo-guhl ]
/ ˈfru gəl /
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See synonyms for: frugal / frugality on Thesaurus.com


economical in use or expenditure; prudently saving or sparing; not wasteful: What your office needs is a frugal manager who can save you money without resorting to painful cutbacks.
entailing little expense; requiring few resources; meager; scanty: a frugal meal.



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Origin of frugal

First recorded in 1590–1600; from Latin frūgālis “economical,” derivative of the indeclinable adjective frūgī (dative singular of frūx “produce, fruit”) + -ālis adjective suffix; see origin at fruit, -al1

synonym study for frugal

Frugal, economical, thrifty imply careful and saving use of resources. Frugal emphasizes being saving, sometimes excessively saving, especially in such matters as food or dress: frugal almost to the point of being stingy. Economical implies prudent planning in the disposition of resources so as to avoid unnecessary waste or expense: economical in budgeting household expenditures. Thrifty is a stronger word than economical and adds to it the idea of industry and successful management: a thrifty shopper looking for bargains.


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for frugal

British Dictionary definitions for frugal

/ (ˈfruːɡəl) /


practising economy; living without waste; thrifty
not costly; meagre

Derived forms of frugal

frugality or frugalness, nounfrugally, adverb

Word Origin for frugal

C16: from Latin frūgālis, from frūgī useful, temperate, from frux fruit
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