niggardly

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

niggard +‎ -ly

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

niggardly (comparative more niggardly, superlative most niggardly)

  1. Withholding for the sake of meanness; stingy, miserly.
    • 1609, Joseph Hall, (paraphrasing Ambrose? in) "No Peace with Rome", in Josiah Pratt (editor), The Works of the Right Reverend Father in God, Joseph Hall, D. D., Vol. IX. Polemical Works, London, (1808), page 57:
      [W]here 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.

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Adverb[edit]

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 […].

Translations[edit]

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]

References[edit]

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