[ thrift ]
See synonyms for thrift on
  1. economical management; economy; frugality: My father valued thrift, hard work, and self-sufficiency.Memories of her thrift and capability inspire me.

  2. Also called thrift in·sti·tu·tion [thriftin-sti-too-shuhn, -tyoo-] /ˈθrɪft ɪn stɪˌtu ʃən, -ˌtyu-/ .Banking. a savings and loan association, savings bank, or credit union: To help the thrifts survive, Congress deregulated the industry, lifting restrictions on the kinds of loans they could make.

    • Also called sea pink [see-pingk] /ˈsi ˌpɪŋk/ . any alpine and maritime plant belonging to the genus Armeria, of the leadwort family, having pink or white flowers, especially A. maritima, noted for its vigorous growth.

    • any of various similar or related plants.

  1. vigorous growth, as of a plant.

  2. Obsolete. prosperity.

verb (used with object)
  1. to buy secondhand, as at a thrift store: I thrifted these purple suede pumps for ten bucks.

Origin of thrift

First recorded in 1200–50; Middle English, from Old Norse: “well-being, prosperity”; cf. thrive

Other words from thrift

  • non·thrift, adjective

Words Nearby thrift Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use thrift in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for thrift


/ (θrɪft) /

  1. wisdom and caution in the management of money

  2. Also called: sea pink any of numerous perennial plumbaginaceous low-growing plants of the genus Armeria, esp A. maritima, of Europe, W Asia, and North America, having narrow leaves and round heads of pink or white flowers

  1. rare vigorous thriving or growth, as of a plant

  2. US a building society, savings bank, or credit union

  3. an obsolete word for prosperity

Origin of thrift

C13: from Old Norse: success; see thrive

Derived forms of thrift

  • thriftless, adjective
  • thriftlessly, adverb
  • thriftlessness, 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