Definition of miserly in English:



  • 1Of or characteristic of a miser.

    ‘his miserly great-uncle proved to be worth nearly £1 million’
    • ‘On the other hand, his wife was a miserly woman who had no interest in feeding hungry street beggars.’
    • ‘Now a miserly spirit holds us in his tight and leathery grip.’
    • ‘On top of that, not only do the miserly beggars want the land for free, but they want it exempt from transfer tax.’
    • ‘Generous peasants might find their farms overcrowded by beggars, whereas more miserly neighbors would profit from the relative quiet and safety thus brought about at no cost to themselves.’
    • ‘Everyone is expected to squeeze the last nickel out of his operating costs, a miserly attitude the industry has suffered under for close to a decade now.’
    • ‘‘A hundred and forty-five dollars each,’ I squeaked in miserly disbelief.’
    • ‘So if employers were not hiring workers, and if they were miserly when it came to increases in wages and benefits for existing employees, what happened to all the money from the strong economic growth?’
    • ‘Ruth's great talent and energy really bring the miserly old Ebeneezer Scrooge to life.’
    • ‘It's because vested interests in the teaching profession are colluding with miserly politicians and ambitious parents to preserve and enhance the privileges they've won for their own offspring.’
    • ‘He gave a seamless performance of the miserly Dickens character.’
    • ‘We may very well find that we are contributing, through this niggardly, miserly provision, to further examples of leaky buildings.’
    • ‘Its consumers have been key engines of global growth, continuing their spendthrift ways even when the rest of the world turned miserly.’
    • ‘When you feel that everyone at the office has noticed your miserly and cheap behavior, start to make them feel guilty about their own extravagances.’
    • ‘In other words, the majority of the top-ten contractors were actually quite miserly in their campaign contributions.’
    • ‘It's something else again to start trying to prevent other men buying flowers for their beloveds, accusing them of not really being in love if they buy them flowers, and trying to make them as miserly as I am.’
    • ‘The senator accused the Australian Government of being miserly with its earthquake relief fund.’
    • ‘A person of limited means may be generous or have a miserly attitude (although meanness is probably less obvious in the case of the poorer person).’
    • ‘It is ridiculous to say that I was being miserly where the Royal British Legion is concerned.’
    • ‘Old men, conscious that they are about to leave the good things of the world, are grasping and miserly.’
    • ‘The process of going over to gaze at the bookshelves or running mental inventories is, for bibliophiles, roughly the equivalent of the miserly millionaire greedily counting the cash in his vault.’
    mean, niggardly, parsimonious, close-fisted
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    1. 1.1 (of a quantity) pitiably small or inadequate.
      ‘the prize for the winner will be a miserly £3,500’
      • ‘Most economists expect growth for the entire year to be a miserly 1%.’
      • ‘Odds on a Labour win are currently a miserly 1-14.’
      • ‘Mayors, and also premiers, have long lamented the fact the federal government spends a miserly two percent of what it rakes in on fuel taxes on highway construction and maintenance.’
      • ‘We cannot go on literally banking on their kindness and humanity and caring abilities in order to underwrite our economic imperatives, while requiring them to set aside their own emotional needs in return for a miserly sum.’
      • ‘In this context, Government cuts of £250,000 per annum seem miserly and ill thought-out.’
      • ‘Most passengers spoken to by the newspaper, even those trudging up to 10 km to work yesterday, have been grumbling at the company rather than the drivers for what they see as miserly wages.’
      • ‘The government's first pledge was a miserly £1m.’
      • ‘However, to many it seemed to raise productivity growth by a miserly one percent per year.’
      • ‘It was convened to consider whether to back Kennedy's bill raising the minimum wage, from a miserly $4.25 an hour.’
      • ‘The real tragedy was that only a miserly 1,500 or so turned out to watch the game, continuing recent downward trends here on a damp and blustery afternoon.’
      • ‘Across the table the smoked salmon with dill cream and caviar at least seemed to have come from the species advertised, but the portion was miserly and at £6.95 it was a pricey starter.’
      • ‘You also get a miserly 1 GB of data - an absolute joke - that's barely 15 minutes of full-speed use per day.’
      • ‘The USA has pledged a miserly $500 million and Canada has contributed only $100 million over three years.’
      • ‘The current amount of $12,000 is a miserly and paltry amount that I strongly believe should be much higher.’
      • ‘At $62 per ton, the salt takes a serious chunk of the city's $66-million snow removal budget, which has frequently been criticized as miserly.’
      • ‘The protesters have denounced the new payments as insufficient to cover the cost of the benefits and as miserly for a country that recently reported a budget surplus of nearly US $25 billion.’
      • ‘Its revenues soared an average of 36% through the 1990s, but now it's heading into miserly single-digit growth.’
      • ‘There is an impressive 72 percent support for military action if it backed by the UN but that then becomes only a miserly 20 percent if it is a bilateral US-UK effort.’
      • ‘According to these latest figures, Scottish manufacturing output as a whole has virtually stalled in the past year, rising a miserly 0.1% over the previous four quarters.’
      meagre, inadequate, paltry, limited, insufficient, deficient, negligible, insubstantial, skimpy, miserable, lamentable, pitiful, puny, niggardly, beggarly
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