from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Unusual or excessive frugality; extreme economy or stinginess.
  • n. Adoption of the simplest assumption in the formulation of a theory or in the interpretation of data, especially in accordance with the rule of Ockham's razor.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Great reluctance to spend money unnecessarily.
  • n. By analogy from (1), principle of using the least resources or explanations to solve a problem.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Closeness or sparingness in the expenditure of money; -- generally in a bad sense; excessive frugality; niggardliness.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Sparingness in the use or expenditure of means; most commonly, excessive or unnecessary economy; stinginess; niggardliness.
  • n. Synonyms Stinginess, niggardliness, penuriousness. See penurious.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. extreme stinginess
  • n. extreme care in spending money; reluctance to spend money unnecessarily


Middle English parcimony, from Latin parsimōnia, from parsus, past participle of parcere, to spare.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French parsimonie, from Latin parsimōnia ("sparingness, frugality"), from parcere ("to be sparing"). (Wiktionary)


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