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

  • n. One who lives very meagerly in order to hoard money.
  • n. A greedy or avaricious person.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person who hoards money rather than spending it; one who is cheap or extremely parsimonious.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A wretched person; a person afflicted by any great misfortune.
  • n. A despicable person; a wretch.
  • n. A covetous, grasping, mean person; esp., one having wealth, who lives miserably for the sake of saving and increasing his hoard.
  • n. A stingy person; one very reluctant to spend money.
  • n. A kind of large earth auger.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. If. A miserable person; one who is wretched or unhappy.
  • n. An extremely avaricious person; one who hoards money; a niggard; one who in wealth conducts himself as one afflicted with poverty.
  • Characteristic of a miser.
  • To gather or keep like a miser; keep with jealous care; hoard: with up.
  • To collect in the interior of the boring-tool called a miser: used with up.
  • n. An iron cylinder with an opening in the side and a cutting lip, attached to the lower end of a boring-rod, used in the process of sinking wells in water-bearing strata.

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

  • n. a stingy hoarder of money and possessions (often living miserably)


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

From Latin, wretched.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Late Latin miser ("wretched, unfortunate, unhappy, miserable, sick, ill, bad, worthless, etc.").


  • He told her of the fairy mill, of the old man's gloating pride in the word miser, of All Souls 'Eve and Adam Craig's hints about the apple tree and the lilac bush.


  • Adam shamelessly accepted the word miser with a gloating chuckle.


  • Insofar as the pursuit of this homogeneous substance provides the binding "one law" of his existence, he resembles the Urizenic Bromion; but to the extent that his fetishistic hoarding of gold necessitates a renunciation of all self-expenditure and a paranoid withdrawal from society (which must be seen as a source of expense or potential thievery), he resembles the withdrawn and virtue-hoarding Theotormon (who, like the miser, is also associated with a "threshold" of stone [2: 6]).

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  • It's one of the reasons that Henry VII was known as a miser, such was the state of the Treasury when he came to the throne in 1485.

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  • The life of a miser is the constant exercise of human power put to the service of self.

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  • But a miser is the mirror image of a miner—what the miner digs up, the miser at least figuratively, and sometimes literally buries right back in the ground.

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  • The philanthropist donates for fear of being labelled a miser just as the miser hoards for fear of donating.

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  • And she was -- she was a genuine miser, which is a very rare psychological phenomenon.

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  • A miser is the complete opposite of a spendthrift, but he is still a scarcity thinker.

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  • It will be readily conceded that the miser is a worldly man.

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  • While the miser is merely a capitalist gone mad, the capitalist is a rational miser.

    (Karl Marx)

    August 9, 2008