Definition of NIGGARDLY


Niggardly is an adjective that describes behavior characterized by an unwillingness to spend or give freely, often due to an excessive focus on saving or conserving resources. Here are several key aspects of being niggardly:

Stinginess or Frugality: Niggardly behavior is marked by a tendency to be excessively thrifty or frugal, often to the point of being perceived as excessively stingy. Individuals who are niggardly may be reluctant to spend money or resources, even when it is reasonable or necessary to do so.

Reluctance to Give or Share: Those who exhibit niggardly behavior are often hesitant to give or share their possessions, time, or resources with others. This reluctance may stem from a desire to hoard resources or a fear of running out, leading to a lack of generosity or willingness to contribute to the welfare of others.

Miserliness or Parsimony: Niggardly individuals may be characterized by miserly tendencies, hoarding their resources and refusing to part with them, even when it would be beneficial or appropriate to do so. This can lead to a perception of selfishness or tightfistedness.

Scant or Meager: Niggardly behavior may result in actions or offerings that are considered insufficient, inadequate, or meager. This can manifest in various contexts, such as providing inadequate assistance, offering minimal support, or contributing less than one’s fair share to a collective effort.

Overall, niggardly behavior is characterized by a reluctance to spend or give freely, often resulting in stinginess, reluctance to share, and a tendency to hoard resources rather than contribute to the welfare of others.

NIGGARDLY in a sentence

  • Despite their considerable wealth, the millionaire was known for their niggardly tendencies, refusing to contribute to charitable causes.
  • The company’s niggardly approach to employee benefits led to dissatisfaction among staff, resulting in high turnover rates.
  • The restaurant earned a reputation for its niggardly portion sizes, leaving customers feeling unsatisfied and unlikely to return.
  • In times of crisis, a niggardly attitude towards aid can exacerbate suffering and hinder recovery efforts.
  • The landlord’s niggardly maintenance of the property led to its gradual decline and deterioration.
  • Politicians criticized the government’s niggardly allocation of funds for essential public services, arguing that it was insufficient to meet the needs of the population.
  • Despite the company’s profitability, executives implemented niggardly cost-cutting measures that adversely affected employee morale.
  • The billionaire’s niggardly reputation preceded him, causing many to question his philanthropic intentions despite his vast wealth.

Etymology of NIGGARDLY

The term niggardly has its etymological roots in Middle English, offering insights into its linguistic origins.

  • Middle English Formation: “Niggardly” originated in Middle English as “nigardly,” derived from the Old Norse word “hnøggr,” which means “miserly” or “stingy.” The suffix “-ly” is added to form the adverbial form of the adjective.
  • Semantic Context: In modern usage, “niggardly” describes someone who is excessively reluctant to spend or give, especially with money or resources. It conveys the idea of being miserly, stingy, or excessively frugal, often to the point of being considered ungenerous or mean.

The term niggardly emphasizes its association with extreme reluctance to part with resources, reflecting its historical roots in Middle English and its usage to describe individuals who are excessively tightfisted or miserly.


  • Stingy
  • Miserly
  • Tightfisted
  • Parsimonious
  • Greedy
  • Scrooge-like
  • Frugal
  • Cheap


  • Generous
  • Liberal
  • Open-handed
  • Benevolent
  • Magnanimous
  • Charitable
  • Generous
  • Munificent


  • Greed
  • Selfishness
  • Frugality
  • Avarice
  • Thriftiness
  • Tightness
  • Self-centeredness
  • Stinginess

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