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)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.