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Related to miserliness: skinflint, cheap skate


Of, relating to, or characteristic of a miser; avaricious or penurious.

mi′ser·li·ness n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.



cheeseparing Penny-pinching, stinginess; excessive economy or frugality. This British expression, which dates from the mid-1800s, is a reference to the practice of taking excessive care when paring the rind from cheese so as to waste as little as possible.

close as a clam Close-fisted; parsimonious; stingy. This phrase alludes to the difficulty involved in opening a clam. One who is “close as a clam” hoards his possessions, making them inaccessible to others.

clutch-fist A miser; a close-fisted person; a stingy, ungenerous character. This obsolete phrase, as well as the truncated clutch, appeared in print as early as 1630. The image is of a hand selfishly grasping or clutching.

nickel nurser A miser, tightwad, or penny pincher. This expression, clearly alluding to the disproportionate amount of affectionate attention that a churl gives to his money, is infrequently used today.

penny pincher A miser, skinflint, or tightwad; a stingy or niggardly person; an overly thrifty or frugal person. In this expression, penny ‘one cent’ emphasizes the pettiness of pincher One who saves in a miserly manner.’ A variation is pinchpenny. Similarly, to pinch pennies is to stint on expenditures, to economize.

piker A tightwad, a cheapskate. This Americanism appears to have originated during the Gold Rush, when the Forty-Niners applied this epithet to those among them who had come from Pike County, Missouri. By 1880, when piker denoted a two-bit gambler, its connotations were clearly derogatory, and the term was well on its way to its more general current application.

My companion immediately produced the coin and not wishing to seem a piker, I followed suit. (Robert W. Service, Ploughman of the Moon, 1945)

skinflint A miser, penny pincher, tightwad; a mean, avaricious, niggardly person. This term is derived from the earlier to skin a flint which was based on the idea that only an excessively rapacious person would even attempt to remove and save the nonexistent skin of a rock such as flint. One source recounts the tale of an Eastern caliph who was so penurious that he issued his soldiers shavings that he had “skinned” from a flint to save the cost of their using complete flints in their rifles.

It would have been long … ere my womankind could have made such a reasonable bargain with that old skinflint. (Sir Walter Scott, The Antiquary, 1816)

tight as the bark on a tree Extremely stingy or close-fisted. This American colloquialism conveys the idea of tightness, or miserliness, by using an image with the flavor of frontier life familiar to the early settlers.

If you wasn’t tighter than the bark on a tree, your wife wouldn’t have to do her own washing. (American Magazine, November, 1913)

tightwad A miser, a cheapskate, a scrooge, a tight-fisted, stingy person.

Pauline … despises the “tightwads” who have saved money. (E. Gilbert, The New Republic, 1916)

The allusion is to the way a miser, not wanting to part with his money, tightly clutches his wad or folded roll of bills. Use of this popular Americanism dates from about the turn of this century.

Vermont charity A now little used hobo term for sympathy—the implication being that Yankee frugality and independence would refuse handouts to those seeking them, offering instead only the inedible solace of sympathy.

Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1980 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Miserliness - total lack of generosity with moneymiserliness - total lack of generosity with money
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


noun meanness, penny-pinching (informal), avarice, parsimony, nearness, stinginess, covetousness, churlishness, cheeseparing, niggardliness, graspingness, close- or tightfistedness, penuriousness She had always despised miserliness.
"How easy it is for a man to die rich, if he will be contented to live miserable" [Henry Fielding]
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


[ˈmaɪzəlɪnɪs] Ntacañería f
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


nGeiz m
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈmaɪzəlɪnɪs] ntaccagneria
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(ˈmaizə) noun
a mean person who lives very poorly in order to store up wealth. That old miser won't give you a cent!
ˈmiserly adjective
ˈmiserliness noun
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in classic literature ?
He is vulnerable to reason there--always a few grains of common-sense in an ounce of miserliness. Miserliness is a capital quality to run in families; it's the safe side for madness to dip on.
How was it that he, Dunstan Cass, who had often heard talk of Marner's miserliness, had never thought of suggesting to Godfrey that he should frighten or persuade the old fellow into lending the money on the excellent security of the young Squire's prospects?
In old-fashioned times an "independence" was hardly ever made without a little miserliness as a condition, and you would have found that quality in every provincial district, combined with characters as various as the fruits from which we can extract acid.
"Miserliness is rather a quality than otherwise, you know," she continued, holding the cat in her folded arms.
At the Jamaraat (devils), through Ramy, the act of throwing stones at them, cast out lust, miserliness, meanness, and all blame worthy acts.
People nowadays mix with the opposite sex in universities, schools and workplaces, while Yoonus bin 'Ubayd said: "Never be in seclusion with a woman, even if you wish to teach her the Qur'an, and even if only you would be the one reciting." Being ill-mannered: Many people possess three very evil qualities, namely: lying, cowardice and miserliness, and these are the worst three qualities a person can possess.
"The boys are still annoyed to concede the last try in particular," he said, displaying a miserliness Shaun Edwards would be happy to put his name to.
I seek refuge with You from worry and grief, from incapacity and laziness, from cowardice and miserliness, from being heavily in debt and from being overpowered by (other) men.' Associating debt with what was narrated in the hadith indicates that debt should not be encouraged.
This results in divisions in faith, racism, egoism, jealousy, miserliness, and deceit.
Government regulators, insurance companies, and many physician leaders have lost sight of the Oath of Maimonides, which states, "May the love of my art actuate me at all times; may neither avarice nor miserliness ...
Lizzie and her father were known to have a tense relationship, most often said to be the result of his miserliness. And the film does include speculation about whether he was also considering cutting Lizzie out of his will or, worse, institutionalizing her for the seizures she periodically suffered.
How appropriate Mourinho signings made the difference as supporters railed against Woodward and the Glazer family owners' miserliness. 'Mourinho's Red and White Army!' United fans roared as the eponymous Portuguese strolled across the Turf Moor turf two goals to the good at the pause.