"to be sparing or frugal," 1722, earlier "to limit, restrain" (1510s), "cause to cease, put an end to" (mid-14c.), "cease, desist" (intransitive), c. 1200, from Old English styntan "to blunt, make dull, stupefy" probably originally "make short," from Proto-Germanic *stuntijanan, from PIE *steud-, extended form of root *(s)teu- (1) "to push, stick, knock, beat" (see steep (adj.)).
The Old English verb is cognate with Old Norse stytta (assimilated from earlier *stynta) "to shorten, make short, tuck up;" and the modern sense of the English word might be from Old Norse or from an unrecorded Old English sense. Related to stunt (v.) and stutter (v.). Sense of "be careful in expenditure" is from 1848. Related: Stinted; stinting. The noun is attested from c. 1300.