Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


He repulsed the advances of neighbors, and became what Robert called him—a miser.

Robert was right in calling him a miser, but he had not always deserved the name.

But you know the old man has become a miser, and makes money his idol.

She declared she was thrifty, but neither a miser, nor a kidnaper, nor a witch.

I have a regard for old Matthew, though he is something of a miser, I fear.

I should think myself a miser, a selfish wretch, if I had kept them any longer.

Course, you and me know they're mean, miser'ble liars, but it's her I'm thinkin' of.

Ain't you got any self-respect at all, you miser'ble, low-lived—' and so forth and so on.

Perhaps it is merely a story of a miser and his daughter's dowry.

The miser is happy when he hoards his gold; the philanthropist when he distributes his.


1540s, "miserable person, wretch," from Latin miser (adj.) "unhappy, wretched, pitiable, in distress," of unknown origin. Original sense now obsolete; main modern meaning of "money-hoarding person" recorded 1560s, from presumed unhappiness of such people.

Besides general wretchedness, the Latin word connoted also "intense erotic love" (cf. slang got it bad "deeply infatuated") and hence was a favorite word of Catullus. In Greek a miser was kyminopristes, literally "a cumin seed splitter." In Modern Greek, he might be called hekentabelones, literally "one who has sixty needles." The German word, filz, literally "felt," preserves the image of the felt slippers which the miser often wore in caricatures. Lettish mantrausis "miser" is literally "money-raker."



nounrude and ill-bred, a boor; person overly concerned with saving money
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.