[ek-uh-nom-i-kuhl, ee-kuh-]


avoiding waste or extravagance; thrifty: an economical meal; an economical use of interior space.

Origin of economical

First recorded in 1570–80; economic + -al1
Related formsnon·e·co·nom·i·cal, adjectivenon·e·co·nom·i·cal·ly, adverbpre·ec·o·nom·i·cal, adjectivepre·ec·o·nom·i·cal·ly, adverbpseu·do·ec·o·nom·i·cal, adjectivepseu·do·ec·o·nom·i·cal·ly, adverbqua·si-ec·o·nom·i·cal, adjectivequa·si-ec·o·nom·i·cal·ly, adverbun·ec·o·nom·i·cal, adjectiveun·ec·o·nom·i·cal·ly, adverb

Synonyms for economical

1. saving, provident, sparing, parsimonious. Economical, thrifty, frugal imply careful and saving use of resources. Economical implies prudent planning in the disposition of resources so as to avoid unnecessary waste or expense: economical in budgeting household expenditures. Thrifty is a stronger word than economical, and adds to it the idea of industry and successful management: a thrifty shopper looking for bargains. Frugal emphasizes being saving, sometimes excessively saving, especially in such matters as food or dress: frugal almost to the point of being stingy.

Antonyms for economical Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for uneconomical

Historical Examples of uneconomical

  • How inefficient and uneconomical our schools, because we cannot fully answer them!

    The Science of Human Nature

    William Henry Pyle

  • The advent of incandescent lamps of higher efficiency has made it uneconomical to use carbon lamps for general lighting purposes.

    Artificial Light

    M. Luckiesh

  • Thirdly, it is uneconomical, in taking up valuable room that can be better appropriated.

    Rural Architecture

    Lewis Falley Allen

  • To leave so powerful and profitable a calling in the hands of foreigners seemed both dangerous and uneconomical.

  • This method of cane culture is, however, most uneconomical, since the soil in time will certainly become exhausted.

    The History of Cuba, vol. 5

    Willis Fletcher Johnson

British Dictionary definitions for uneconomical



not economical; wasteful



using the minimum required; not wasteful of time, effort, resources, etcan economical car; an economical style
frugal; thriftyshe was economical by nature
euphemistic deliberately withholding information (esp in the phrase economical with the truth)
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 uneconomical



1570s, "pertaining to household management; from economic + -al (1). Meaning "pertaining to political economy" is from 1781; that of "thrifty" is from 1780. Related: Economically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper