noun Informal.

a close-fisted or stingy person.

Origin of tightwad

An Americanism dating back to 1895–1900; tight + wad1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tightwad

Historical Examples of tightwad

  • You never gave two dollars to anyone in your life, you tightwad!

    Center Rush Rowland

    Ralph Henry Barbour

  • I asked him for a drink, and he couldnt see it, the tightwad!


    George Allan England

  • Nor have you ever found a real Muscular who was a "tightwad."

    How to Analyze People on Sight

    Elsie Lincoln Benedict and Ralph Paine Benedict

  • Think I'm so unreliable and tightwad that you've got to tie me down with a contract?

    Main Street

    Sinclair Lewis

  • You dont have to give anything, but they expect it, you know, and they think youre a tightwad if you dont come across.

    Center Rush Rowland

    Ralph Henry Barbour

British Dictionary definitions for tightwad



slang, mainly US and Canadian a stingy person; miser
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 tightwad

"parsimonious person," 1900, from tight in the sense of "close-fisted" (1805) + wad (n.). The notions of stringency and avarice also combine in Modern Greek sphiktos "greedy," literally "tight."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper