reluctant to give or spend; not generous; niggardly; penurious: He's a stingy old miser.
scanty or meager: a stingy little income.
Origin: 1650–60; perhaps derivative of sting; see -y1
Synonyms 1. tight. Stingy, parsimonious, miserly, mean, close all mean reluctant to part with money or goods. Stingy the most general of these terms, means unwilling to share, give, or spend possessions or money: children who are stingy with their toys; a stingy, grasping skinflint.Parsimonious describes an extreme stinginess arising from unusual or excessive frugality: a sternly parsimonious, penny-pinching existence.Miserly stresses a pathological pleasure in acquiring and hoarding money that is so powerful that even necessities are only grudgingly purchased: a wretched, miserly way of life.Mean suggests a small-minded, ignoble, petty stinginess leading to miserable, cheerless living: depressingly mean with his money; mean surroundings; a mean repast.Close implies extreme caution in spending money, even an aversion to spending: a close dealer, buying only at rock bottom prices; generous with advice, but very close with his money.2. sparse, paltry, poor.
"niggardly, penurious, tight-fisted," 1659, possibly a dialectal alteration of earlier stingy "biting, sharp, stinging" (c.1615), from sting (v.). Back-formation stinge "a stingy person" is recorded from 1914.