[puh-noor-ee-uhs, -nyoor-]
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  1. extremely stingy; parsimonious; miserly.
  2. extremely poor; destitute; indigent.
  3. poorly or inadequately supplied; lacking in means or resources.

Origin of penurious

From the Medieval Latin word pēnūriōsus, dating back to 1590–1600. See penury, -ous
Related formspe·nu·ri·ous·ly, adverbpe·nu·ri·ous·ness, nounun·pe·nu·ri·ous, adjectiveun·pe·nu·ri·ous·ly, adverbun·pe·nu·ri·ous·ness, noun

Synonyms for penurious

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Antonyms for penurious Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for penurious

Historical Examples of penurious

British Dictionary definitions for penurious


  1. niggardly with money
  2. lacking money or means
  3. yielding little; scanty
Derived Formspenuriously, adverbpenuriousness, 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 penurious

1590s, from penury + -ous, or else from Medieval Latin penuriosus, from Latin penuria "penury." Originally "poverty-stricken, in a state of penury;" meaning "stingy" is first attested 1630s. Related: Penuriously.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper