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[pahr-suh-moh-nee] /ˈpɑr səˌmoʊ ni/
extreme or excessive economy or frugality; stinginess; niggardliness.
Origin of parsimony
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English parcimony < Latin parsimōnia, parcimōnia frugality, thrift, equivalent to parsi- (combining form of parsus, past participle of parcere to economize) or parci- (combining form of parcus sparing) + -mōnia -mony Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for parsimony
  • Grocers will suffer in a new era of parsimony.
  • Essays are interspersed with vivid poems, haiku-like in their verbal parsimony and eloquent in their evocation of time and place.
  • Science requires more than parsimony to explain how the world works.
  • He that runs out by extravagance must retrieve by parsimony.
  • The government may have been embarrassed into parsimony.
  • But this new spending needs to be accompanied by something more credible than Augustine-like vows of future parsimony.
  • So far, his administration has been a model of parsimony.
  • At the federal level, the parsimony is worse, and so is the negligence.
  • Yet out of such parsimony, six countries found joy, and six despair.
  • This parsimony cannot continue indefinitely.
British Dictionary definitions for parsimony


extreme care or reluctance in spending; frugality; niggardliness
Derived Forms
parsimonious (ˌpɑːsɪˈməʊnɪəs) adjective
parsimoniously, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Latin parcimōnia, from parcere to spare
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 parsimony

early 15c., from Latin parsimonia "sparingness, frugality, thrift," from pars-, past participle stem of parsi, perfect tense of parcere "to spare, save, refrain from, use moderately" (which is said to be unrelated to Latin parvus "small," parum "too little") + -monia, suffix signifying action, state, or condition.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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