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[skrimp] /skrɪmp/
verb (used without object)
to be sparing or frugal; economize (often followed by on):
They scrimped and saved for everything they have. He spends most of his money on clothes, and scrimps on food.
verb (used with object)
to be sparing or restrictive of or in; limit severely:
to scrimp food.
to keep on short allowance; provide sparingly for:
to scrimp their elderly parents.
Origin of scrimp
1710-20; < Scandinavian; compare Swedish skrympa, Norwegian, Danish skrumpe (orig. *skrimpa, strong v.) to shrivel, cognate with Middle High German schrimpfen to contract; see shrimp
Related forms
unscrimped, adjective
1. skimp, stint, save, scrape. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for scrimp
  • Failure to deliver it would look unseemly at a time when politicians are asking voters to scrimp.
  • He also found it is best not to scrimp on the radiator.
  • They are economizing but not scrimp ing, acting cautiously but not miserly.
  • As some chefs scrimp on ingredients, cheaper cuts of meat are making their debuts on the menu.
British Dictionary definitions for scrimp


when intr, sometimes foll by on. to be very economical or sparing in the use (of) (esp in the phrase scrimp and save)
(transitive) to treat meanly: he is scrimping his children
(transitive) to cut too small
a less common word for scant
Derived Forms
scrimpy, adjective
scrimpily, adverb
scrimpiness, noun
Word Origin
C18: Scottish, origin unknown
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for scrimp

"to make too small," 1774, originally in English an adjective, "scant, meager" (1718), possibly from a Scandinavian source (cf. Swedish skrumpna "to shrink, shrivel up," Danish skrumpen "shrunken, shriveled"), or from a continental Germanic source akin to Middle High German schrimpfen, German schrumpfen "to shrivel," from Proto-Germanic *skrimp-, from PIE root *(s)kerb- "to turn, bend." Related: Scrimped; scrimping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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