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adjective, stin·gi·er, stin·gi·est.
  1. reluctant to give or spend; not generous; niggardly; penurious: He's a stingy old miser.
  2. scanty or meager: a stingy little income.

Origin of stingy

1650–60; perhaps derivative of sting; see -y1
Related formsstin·gi·ly, adverbstin·gi·ness, noun

Synonyms for stingy

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Synonym study

1. Stingy, parsimonious, miserly, mean, close all mean reluctant to part with money or goods. Stingy, the most general of these terms, means unwilling to share, give, or spend possessions or money: children who are stingy with their toys; a stingy, grasping skinflint. Parsimonious describes an extreme stinginess arising from unusual or excessive frugality: a sternly parsimonious, penny-pinching existence. Miserly stresses a pathological pleasure in acquiring and hoarding money that is so powerful that even necessities are only grudgingly purchased: a wretched, miserly way of life. Mean suggests a small-minded, ignoble, petty stinginess leading to miserable, cheerless living: depressingly mean with his money; mean surroundings; a mean repast. Close implies extreme caution in spending money, even an aversion to spending: a close dealer, buying only at rock bottom prices; generous with advice, but very close with his money.

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

Examples from the Web for stinginess

Contemporary Examples of stinginess

Historical Examples of stinginess

  • By what miracle of stinginess had she been able to save such a sum?

    Doctor Pascal

    Emile Zola

  • His stinginess bordered on avarice, and he had never changed his trade.

    Criminal Man

    Gina Lombroso-Ferrero

  • He mercilessly pillories his patrons in a row for their stinginess.

  • It's not economy: it's not stinginess; they are not paying off their debts.

    White Lies

    Charles Reade

  • There was not an iota of stinginess in his habitual economy.

    The Printer Boy.

    William M. Thayer

British Dictionary definitions for stinginess


adjective -gier or -giest
  1. unwilling to spend or give
  2. insufficient or scanty
Derived Formsstingily, adverbstinginess, noun

Word Origin for stingy

C17 (perhaps in the sense: ill-tempered): perhaps from stinge, dialect variant of sting


adjective stingier or stingiest
  1. informal stinging or capable of stinging
noun plural stingies
  1. South Wales dialect a stinging nettleI put my hand on a stingy
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 stinginess



"niggardly, penurious, tight-fisted," 1650s, possibly a dialectal alteration of earlier stingy "biting, sharp, stinging" (1610s), from sting (v.). Back-formation stinge "a stingy person" is recorded from 1914.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper