economical management; economy; frugality.
Also called thrift institution. Banking. a savings and loan association, savings bank, or credit union.
Also called sea pink. any alpine and maritime plant belonging to the genus Armeria, of the leadwort family, having pink or white flowers, especially A. maritima, noted for its vigorous growth.
any of various allied plants.
vigorous growth, as of a plant.
Obsolete, prosperity.

1200–50; Middle English < Old Norse: well being, prosperity; cf. thrive

nonthrift, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
thrift (θrɪft)
1.  wisdom and caution in the management of money
2.  Also called: sea pink any of numerous perennial plumbaginaceous low-growing plants of the genus Armeria, esp A. maritima, of Europe, W Asia, and North America, having narrow leaves and round heads of pink or white flowers
3.  rare vigorous thriving or growth, as of a plant
4.  (US) a building society, savings bank, or credit union
5.  an obsolete word for prosperity
[C13: from Old Norse: success; see thrive]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, "fact or condition of thriving," also "prosperity, savings," from M.E. thriven "to thrive" (see thrive), possibly infl. by O.N. þrift, variant of þrif "prosperity," from þrifask "to thrive." Sense of "habit of saving, economy" first recorded 1550s
(thrifty in this sense is recorded from 1520s; also see spendthrift). Thrift shop first attested 1947.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Thrift imposed by a sickly economy is probably the principal cause.
The thrift that accompanies the aging of the population in a high-growth
  economy imposes a large cost.
The thrift industry is not going down without a fight.
Thrift shops are a great resource for donating or buying used clothing.
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