• synonyms


  1. greatly concerned with saving small sums of money
  2. penny-wise and pound-foolish careful about trifles but wasteful in large ventures
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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

Related Words for penny-wise

efficient, cost-effective, prudent, practical, meticulous, thrifty, canny, careful, stingy, sparing, saving, penny-pinching, spare, close, mean, avaricious, chary, circumspect, closefisted, frugal

Examples from the Web for penny-wise

Historical Examples of penny-wise

  • Yes, my thoughts were penny-wise, which is far better than if they had been pound-foolish.

    The Mark of Cain

    Carolyn Wells

  • Penny-wise and pound-foolish, has been the ruin of thousands.

  • Such spots form a sort of museum, only Nature does these things with a royal hand, and not in a penny-wise, showman fashion.

    The Pearl of India

    Maturin M. Ballou

  • I was delighted, and spent more time watching them than 'penny-wise' people would have approved.

  • In this, perhaps, there was something of the penny-wise policy, which sprang from one great defect in her character.