WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
- avoiding waste;
producing or resulting in profit or savings: an economical meal.
- economical, thrifty, frugal imply careful and efficient use of money, supplies, or resources. economical implies careful and wise planning in the use of resources so as to avoid unnecessary waste or expense: It is economical to buy in large quantities. thrifty adds the idea of working hard to save and of managing successfully: She is a thrifty shopper and always looks for bargains. frugal suggests saving by denying oneself luxuries: He is so frugal that he never takes taxis but walks instead.
- avoiding waste or extravagance;
thrifty:an economical meal; an economical use of interior space.
- economic + -al1 1570–80
- 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged . saving, provident, sparing, parsimonious. Economical, thrifty, frugal imply careful and saving use of resources. Economical implies prudent planning in the disposition of resources so as to avoid unnecessary waste or expense:economical in budgeting household expenditures.Thrifty is a stronger word than economical, and adds to it the idea of industry and successful management:a thrifty shopper looking for bargains.Frugal emphasizes being saving, sometimes excessively saving, esp. in such matters as food or dress:frugal almost to the point of being stingy.
- 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged . wasteful, extravagant, spendthrift, prodigal, profligate.