reluctant to spend money or give away resources, often to the point of being stingy or ungenerous


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



Stingy, tightfisted, parsimonious, economical, ungenerous, cheap


Generous, liberal, munificent, lavish, spending, charitable

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun miserliness, miserlinesses, miser, misers
Verb None
Adjective miserly
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • The miserly landlord charged exorbitant rents for his rundown apartments, refusing to make any improvements or repairs, while accumulating wealth at the expense of his struggling tenants.

  • The miserly boss refused to buy new equipment for the office, even though it was badly needed.

  • The miserly customer complained about the price of everything and tried to bargain for a lower price.

  • Despite his immense wealth, the miserly old man lived in a dilapidated house, refusing to spend even a penny on repairs or basic comforts, showcasing his extreme stinginess and reluctance to part with his money.


The word “miserly” has its roots in the Latin term “miser,” meaning “wretched” or “unfortunate.” It is formed by adding the suffix “-ly” to the root “miser.” The prefix “mis-” indicates a sense of negativity or lack.

The usage of “miserly” describes someone who is extremely stingy, frugal, or unwilling to spend money or resources. It conveys a sense of excessive thriftiness or a strong desire to hoard wealth, often resulting in a reluctance to share or contribute to the well-being of others. The term highlights a tendency to prioritize personal gain over generosity or benevolence.

As an adjective, “miserly” emphasizes the parsimonious nature of an individual’s actions or behavior. It is often used to describe someone who displays a lack of generosity or a tendency to be overly cautious with spending. The term can also refer to situations or actions that reflect a lack of abundance or generosity. Miserliness can be a personal trait or a cultural value, depending on the individual or society in question. In some cases, miserly behavior may stem from a fear of poverty or a desire to accumulate wealth, while in others it may simply be a matter of personal preference or habit. Regardless of the underlying causes, miserliness can have negative effects on the individual, their relationships, and the wider community, as it can lead to social isolation, poverty, or other problems.

Variations of the word “miserly” include “miserliness” as a noun form and “miser” as a noun to refer to an individual who is habitually stingy or frugal.

Understanding the history and usage of “miserly” reminds us of the importance of striking a balance between financial responsibility and generosity. It encourages us to reflect on our attitudes towards wealth and the impact of our actions on others. Recognizing miserly behavior can prompt discussions on wealth distribution and the value of compassion in creating a more equitable society.