Meaning of thrift in English:


Pronunciation /θrɪft/

See synonyms for thrift

Translate thrift into Spanish


mass noun
  • 1The quality of using money and other resources carefully and not wastefully.

    ‘the values of thrift and self-reliance’
    • ‘The annual awards recognise the efforts made by school principals, teachers and parents to encourage the habit of regular saving, thrift and money management.’
    • ‘Battling the elements, espousing values of thrift, industry and resourcefulness, the film has the feel of a ‘Boys' Own Adventure’.’
    • ‘I agree that thrift and self-reliance are important values, but so are tolerance and the fair-go principle of maximising equality of opportunity.’
    • ‘You, as an organisation pride yourself on teaching your members the values of thrift and prudence.’
    • ‘We're a Yorkshire company and we will maintain our Yorkshire values - thrift being one of them,’ he said.’
    • ‘To the contrary, perhaps we can claim that much of our economic stability has been built up by the sensible thrift of a vast section of the community.’
    • ‘Her household was run with thrift and economy - she always made her own jam, bottled fruit, made cakes and pastry and was never without her knitting and sewing.’
    • ‘But however many millions it may cost to support the monarchy in all its pomp, the Queen sets a shining example of thrift and prudence.’
    • ‘At least in some parts of New England, where we still take the values of thrift and conservation seriously, it is the responsible citizen who hangs out, not just environmental zealots.’
    • ‘No wonder, many victims readily conclude that thrift and self-reliance are useless and even injurious and that spending and debt are preferable by far.’
    • ‘Why do you think that it's important to teach kids, especially in a wealthy family like yours, the value of thrift?’
    • ‘Americans have long been very consumption-oriented while the Chinese and other East Asians value thrift.’
    • ‘Values such as solidarity, thrift, cleanliness and self-discipline were regularly identified as characteristic of them.’
    • ‘The merchant's large estate, he maintained, was the result of ‘honest industry, forecast, prudence, thrift.’’
    • ‘Bert's attention to thrift played out one evening after a Microbiology Resource Committee meeting.’
    • ‘Not to do so would be wasteful, an offence against Scottish thrift and against her tireless spirit.’
    • ‘Thus there was little incentive to develop ‘dainty dishes’ for main courses, and even less when thrift and economy were considered more important than flavour.’
    • ‘Economic Calvinism holds the doctrine that industry, thrift, and economic success is evidence of one's predestination.’
    • ‘How has the UK moved from being a nation that held up thrift as a virtue and considered debt a vice, to owing a trillion pounds on mortgages, credit cards and other loans?’
    • ‘His frugality and thrift were particularly notorious.’
    providence, prudence, thriftiness, canniness, carefulness, good management, good husbandry, careful budgeting, economy, economizing, saving, scrimping and saving, scrimping, frugality, abstemiousness, parsimony, penny-pinching, miserliness
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1US
      another term for savings and loan
      ‘A third set of factors pertains to the market specialization of different institutions - after accounting for the regulatory contrasts among banks, thrifts, credit unions, and indies.’
      • ‘The nation's banks and thrifts have increasingly staked their loan portfolios on the mortgage and home-equity businesses.’
      • ‘Ellison delivered a 19.7% return by sticking to regional banks and thrifts with clean balance sheets.’
      • ‘Banks, thrifts, and credit unions collected a record $37.8 billion in service charges last year.’
      • ‘The Fed oversees banks and thrifts, manages the nation's money, and influences the economy.’
      • ‘Banks and thrifts held $491 billion of home equity loans on their books at the end of 2004, up 91% from the end of 2002 and more than 40% in 2004 alone.’
      • ‘Nonfinancial borrowing from banks and thrifts has fallen since the mid-1970s to a modem-day low of 22 percent and 9 percent respectively.’
      • ‘Superior's cost could drag the thrifts ' insurance fund below 1.4% of deposits.’
      • ‘They permitted the thrifts to enter the commercial real estate loans market, at the same time raising the maximum deposit covered by federal insurance from $40,000 to $100,000.’
      • ‘Large thrift banks in California imitated market entries of other large thrifts.’
      • ‘Having bought up numerous thrifts in the aftermath of the Savings & Loan crisis, he says, WaMu ended up with purchases that ‘came with some baggage.’’
      • ‘A decade ago, thrifts got themselves into trouble because they made residential and commercial real estate loans for inflated amounts to borrowers who could not pay.’
      • ‘The Resolution Trust Corp., which disposed of the failed thrifts, had a simpler task because the banks were already in receivership.’
      • ‘Merger mania within the publicly traded thrifts occurred in the late 1990s.’
      • ‘G&L Internet Bank, the nation's only Web-based financial institution catering to gay people, may close in January, according to a notice filed with the federal office that oversees thrifts.’
      • ‘The thrifts were looted by borrowers, who used inflated appraisals and phony financial statements to obtain funds they had no hope of paying back.’
      • ‘The official banking system is trying to crackdown on these unregulated thrifts but since the thrift funds have strong connections to certain political groups, chances of a regulatory intervention is very low.’
      • ‘Around this time, Stephen Smith, a lumber merchant from Pennsylvania, was the largest shareholder in a thrift named Columbia Bank.’
      • ‘Superior Bank, an Illinois thrift, failed this summer because of its exposure to subprime loans.’
      • ‘Wal-Mart insists its financial plans don't depend on owning a bank or a thrift.’
      • ‘Parsons was chief executive of Dime Bancorp, a New York thrift savings bank, for five years from 1990.’
  • 2A European plant which forms low-growing tufts of slender leaves with rounded pink flower heads, growing chiefly on sea cliffs and mountains.

    Also called sea pink

    Armeria maritima, family Plumbaginaceae

    ‘Enclosing the garden will be a traditional dry stone wall planted with native Irish plants - yarrow, thrift, heart's tongue fern and maiden hair spleenwort.’
    • ‘I knew the nodding pink flowers of thrift, and those white ones with the bulbous base must be sea campion.’
    • ‘Primrose, cowslip, lady's mantle, bugle, thrift, clustered bellflower are widely available in garden centres, but are all natives.’
    • ‘Pinks with lavender blooms spill around drifts of pink-flowered soapwort and rosy pink drumsticks of common thrift.’
    • ‘The new thrift plant in its small terracotta planter looks as if it'd been there all its life - erect and sprightly, just as it should be.’
    • ‘Sam showed slides including salt-tolerant species of sea-lavender and thrift, moving on to moths and butterflies.’
    • ‘It was dark when Macarron and I walked up the path between the thrift and the sea grass to our door.’
    • ‘We got a couple of trays of a new variety of salvia, some new grasses and a delicious little thrift.’
    • ‘These work well with pots of perennials such as thrift Armeria alliacea alternated with creeping Gypsophila repens.’


Middle English (in the sense ‘prosperity, acquired wealth, success’): from Old Norse, from thrífa ‘grasp, get hold of’. Compare with thrive.