The verb skimp refers to using a limited amount of something. When tomato prices are high, a cost-conscious restaurant might skimp on the amount of chopped tomatoes it puts on salads.

Skimp can also describe getting by spending very little money, like someone who skimps in order to save for the future. You can also skimp on time and effort, like when you skimp on the amount of care you put into your math homework. Skimp is likely a variation of scrimp, which means "to make too small" and comes from the Swedish word skrumpna, meaning "to shrink, shrivel up."

Definitions of skimp
  1. verb
    work hastily or carelessly; deal with inadequately and superficially
    synonyms: scant
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    type of:
    exert oneself by doing mental or physical work for a purpose or out of necessity
  2. verb
    supply sparingly and with restricted quantities
    synonyms: scant, stint
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    type of:
    furnish, provide, render, supply
    give something useful or necessary to
  3. verb
    limit in quality or quantity
    synonyms: scant
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    type of:
    place under restrictions; limit access to
  4. verb
    subsist on a meager allowance
    synonyms: scrimp, stint
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    type of:
    spend less; buy at a reduced price
Commonly confused words

scrimp / skimp

These words are two sides of the same coin: ways to get more or to make something go further. One side is about saving; the other is about spending less.

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