[ froo-guhl ]
See synonyms for: frugalfrugality on

  1. 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.

  2. entailing little expense; requiring few resources; meager; scanty: a frugal meal.

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.

Other words for frugal

Opposites for frugal

Other words from frugal

  • fru·gal·i·ty [froo-gal-i-tee], /fruˈgæl ɪ ti/, fru·gal·ness, noun
  • fru·gal·ly, adverb
  • non·fru·gal, adjective
  • non·fru·gal·ness, noun
  • o·ver·fru·gal, adjective
  • un·fru·gal, adjective
  • un·fru·gal·ness, noun

Words Nearby frugal Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use frugal in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for frugal


/ (ˈfruːɡəl) /

  1. practising economy; living without waste; thrifty

  2. not costly; meagre

Origin of frugal

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

Derived forms of frugal

  • frugality or frugalness, noun
  • frugally, adverb

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