Originally Posted by svHyLyte
The on-line version of Webster's definitions (which are ordered by common usage):
So, it seems Chief was likely correct to beging with, eh?
I would suggest that, rather than shopping
online for the definition that suits one's point-of-view, consulting the OED, Scott. There you will find that penury is defined as extreme poverty, destitution, from the Latin Penuria, meaning want, need, scarcity.
Parsimony, on the other hand, is defined as "extreme unwillingness to spend money
or use resources," according to the Compact OED. It comes from the Latin Parsimonia, meaning frugality, thrift, temperance.
Of course, English
is a living language. People use words incorrectly constantly, and, over time, definitions evolve to reflect common usage. Thus, the adjectival form of penury (penurious) has come to be (incorrectly) used to describe the same characteristic that parsimonious more closely describes.