of, like, or befitting a miser; penurious; stingy; niggardly.

Origin of miserly

First recorded in 1585–95; miser + -ly
Related formsmi·ser·li·ness, nounun·mi·ser·ly, adjective

Synonyms for miserly

Synonym study

See stingy1.

Antonyms for miserly

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for miserly

Contemporary Examples of miserly

Historical Examples of miserly

  • It'll cost him more than he'll ever get from my miserly uncle to repair it.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • I admired her charms, and I was delighted to see that she was not miserly in their display.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete

    Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

  • Ruth remembered what Roberto had said about his miserly grandmother.

  • Ruth Fielding was an orphan and came to live with her miserly uncle.

  • He was so careful, so—so miserly in some ways, so wildly extravagant in others.

    Good Old Anna

    Marie Belloc Lowndes

British Dictionary definitions for miserly



of or resembling a miser; avaricious
Derived Formsmiserliness, noun
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

Word Origin and History for miserly

1590s, from miser + -ly (1). Related: Miserliness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper