from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To practice economy, as by avoiding waste or reducing expenditures.
  • intransitive verb To make economical use of something.
  • intransitive verb To use or manage with thrift.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To manage economically; practise economy in regard to; treat savingly or sparingly: as, to economize one's means or strength; he economized his expenses.
  • To practise economy; avoid waste, extravagance, or excess; be sparing in outlay: as, to economize in one's housekeeping, or in the expenditure of energy.
  • Also spelled economise.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To manage with economy; to use with prudence; to expend with frugality.
  • intransitive verb To be prudently sparing in expenditure; to be frugal and saving.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To practice being economical (by using things sparingly or in moderation, and by avoiding waste or extravagance).
  • verb To be frugal.

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

  • verb use cautiously and frugally
  • verb spend sparingly, avoid the waste of


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • I don't think it's completely unreasonable to balk at the cost of college, as your co-blogger has, but I doubt the right way to economize is to sneak into the lectures.

    Get the Best Education in the World, Absolutely Free!, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • "People are learning how to conserve and economize, which is a great thing because we have been a wasteful society."

    Greeley Tribune - Top Stories

  • Certainly some male friends complain that their wives don't know the meaning of the word "economize" but most of my female friends are not that stupid.

    Vicky Ward: Never Give Up

  • As nearly all men in office, who have not a personal taste to satisfy, are well content, if they succeed in satisfying the public, we fear the Superintendent will be forced to "economize" on the keeping of the Park, as he was the past year, to a degree which will be as far from true economy as the cleaning of mosaic floors with birch brooms.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 07, No. 42, April, 1861

  • As an example of how deliberation can "economize" on moral disagreements, she cites the fetal tissue research guidelines issued in 1975 by the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research.

    Reason Magazine

  • Another Western US utility's management decided to "economize" by combining the SCADA functions with the company's corporate functions in a single computer.

    TechRepublic Blogs

  • One gets the feeling that words and phrases such as "economize" and "credit crunch" and


  • Cement is an expensive material, which provides a strong incentive for the contractor to "economize" in its use, with mutual distribution of the resulting "savings" Providing water for curing concrete, plaster, or mortar in brickwork, or for moisture control in embankment compaction, can also be a costly item for the contractor, who may have an incentive to reduce or eliminate its use, often with the collaboration of the inspector who may be under considerable pressure to cooperate.

    Chapter 13

  • He no longer bought books, and he economized in petty ways and sought to delay the inevitable end; though he did not know how to economize, and brought the end nearer by a week when he gave his sister Marian five dollars for a dress.

    Chapter 14

  • Defense Secretary Robert Gates wants to economize on some military operations, through only to pour the savings into other Pentagon programs.

    John Feffer: Take This Job and... Transform It


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