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[froo-guh l] /ˈfru gəl/
economical in use or expenditure; prudently saving or sparing; not wasteful:
What your office needs is a frugal manager who can save you money without resorting to painful cutbacks.
entailing little expense; requiring few resources; meager; scanty:
a frugal meal.
Synonyms: scant, slim, sparing, skimpy.
Antonyms: luxurious, lavish, profuse.
Origin of frugal
1590-1600; < Latin frūgālis economical, equivalent to frūg- (stem of frūx produce, fruit) + -ālis -al1
Related forms
frugality, frugalness, noun
frugally, adverb
nonfrugal, adjective
nonfrugally, adverb
nonfrugalness, noun
overfrugal, adjective
overfrugally, adverb
unfrugal, adjective
unfrugally, adverb
unfrugalness, noun
Synonym Study
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.


[froo-gal-i-tee] /fruˈgæl ɪ ti/
the quality of being frugal, or prudent in saving; the lack of wastefulness:
Many people who have lived through periods of economic deprivation develop lifelong habits of frugality and are almost never tempted by wasteful consumption.
Also, frugalness [froo-guh l-nis] /ˈfru gəl nɪs/ (Show IPA).
Related forms
nonfrugality, noun
overfrugality, noun
unfrugality, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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British Dictionary definitions for frugalness


practising economy; living without waste; thrifty
not costly; meagre
Derived Forms
frugality, frugalness, noun
frugally, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Latin frūgālis, from frūgī useful, temperate, from frux fruit
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for frugalness



1590s, from Middle French frugal, from Latin frugalis, from undeclined adj. frugi "useful, proper, worthy, honest; temperate, economical," originally dative of frux (plural fruges) "fruit, produce," figuratively "value, result, success," related to fructus (see fruit). Sense evolved in Latin from "useful" to "profitable" to "economical." Related: Frugally.



1530s, from Middle French frugalité (14c.), from Latin frugalitatem (nominative frugalitas) "thriftiness, temperance, frugality," from frugalis (see frugal).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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