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[stin-jee] /ˈstɪn dʒi/
adjective, stingier, stingiest.
reluctant to give or spend; not generous; niggardly; penurious:
He's a stingy old miser.
scanty or meager:
a stingy little income.
Origin of stingy1
1650-60; perhaps derivative of sting; see -y1
Related forms
stingily, adverb
stinginess, noun
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.
1. generous.


[sting-ee] /ˈstɪŋ i/
having a sting.
1605-15; sting + -y1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for stingy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And the next was when I scolded because she broke a bowl; And she said I was mean and stingy, and hadn't any soul.

    Farm Ballads Will Carleton
  • I realized that I must have seemed like a mean, stingy old scamp.

    Cap'n Warren's Wards Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Close by in the greensward an absurd pet lamb was tugging and bouncing at the end of its stingy tether.

    The Sick-a-Bed Lady Eleanor Hallowell Abbott
  • My wife left me because she said I was stingy, and she took my child—my only daughter.

  • "Well, I guess I ain't so stingy as all that comes to," exclaimed Mrs. Hunt, sharply.

    The Bishop's Shadow I. T. Thurston
  • Each was occupied with his own thoughts, and each was stingy of his breath.

    The Gaunt Gray Wolf Dillon Wallace
British Dictionary definitions for stingy


adjective -gier, -giest
unwilling to spend or give
insufficient or scanty
Derived Forms
stingily, adverb
stinginess, noun
Word Origin
C17 (perhaps in the sense: ill-tempered): perhaps from stinge, dialect variant of sting


adjective stingier, stingiest
(informal) stinging or capable of stinging
noun (pl) stingies
(South Wales, dialect) a stinging nettle: I put my hand on a stingy
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 stingy

"niggardly, penurious, tight-fisted," 1650s, possibly a dialectal alteration of earlier stingy "biting, sharp, stinging" (1610s), from sting (v.). Back-formation stinge "a stingy person" is recorded from 1914.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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