economical management; economy; frugality.
Also called thrift institution. Banking. a savings and loan association, savings bank, or credit union.
Also called sea pink. 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 allied plants.
vigorous growth, as of a plant.
Obsolete. prosperity.

Origin of thrift

1200–50; Middle English < Old Norse: well being, prosperity; cf. thrive
Related formsnon·thrift, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for thrift

Contemporary Examples of thrift

Historical Examples of thrift

  • If he felt a respect for her thrift it was completely unacknowledged.


    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

  • Does not this thrift prove that anxiety for the morrow is not after all quite unknown here?'


    Theodor Hertzka

  • Its main market was at Bruges in Flanders, which was then a bee-hive of industry and thrift.

    The Railroad Question

    William Larrabee

  • For thrift, grit and perseverance, are a few of the rough grains in his character.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • This is closely related to character and morality, to thrift and success.

British Dictionary definitions for thrift



wisdom and caution in the management of money
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
rare vigorous thriving or growth, as of a plant
US a building society, savings bank, or credit union
an obsolete word for prosperity
Derived Formsthriftless, adjectivethriftlessly, adverbthriftlessness, noun

Word Origin for thrift

C13: from Old Norse: success; see thrive
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 thrift

c.1300, "fact or condition of thriving," also "prosperity, savings," from Middle English thriven "to thrive" (see thrive), possibly influenced by Old Norse þrift, variant of þrif "prosperity," from þrifask "to thrive." Sense of "habit of saving, economy" first recorded 1550s (thrifty in this sense is recorded from 1520s; also see spendthrift). Thrift shop attested by 1919.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper