Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search



niggard +‎ -ly



niggardly (comparative more niggardly, superlative most niggardly)

  1. (now rare) Withholding for the sake of meanness; stingy, miserly.
    • Bishop Hall
      Where the owner of the house will be bountiful, it is not for the steward to be niggardly.
    • 1919, W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence, chapter 47
      They were not niggardly, these tramps, and he who had money did not hesitate to share it among the rest.
    • 1958, John Kenneth Galbraith, The Affluent Society (1998 edition), ↑ISBN, p. 186:
      This manifests itself in an implacable tendency to provide an opulent supply of some things and a niggardly yield of others.




niggardly (comparative more niggardly, superlative most niggardly)

  1. (now rare) In a parsimonious way; sparingly, stingily.
    • 1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069; The Anatomy of Melancholy, 2nd corrected and augmented edition, Oxford: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, 1624, OCLC 54573970, (please specify |partition=1, 2, or 3):
      , New York 2001, p.105:
      because many families are compelled to live niggardly, exhaust and undone by great dowers, none shall be given at all, or very little […].


Usage notes[edit]

  • This term may cause offence as it is easily misinterpreted to be an adverbial form of the racial slur nigger.[1] The two words are etymologically unrelated.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Racist Language, Real and Imagined, Steven Pinker. February 2, 1999. The New York Times (editorial).