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[beg-er-lee] /ˈbɛg ər li/
like or befitting a beggar.
meanly inadequate:
How does he manage on such a beggarly salary?
Origin of beggarly
First recorded in 1520-30; beggar + -ly
Related forms
beggarliness, noun
unbeggarly, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for beggarly
Historical Examples
  • The dog too went: the most noble-looking item in the beggarly assets.

    Chance Joseph Conrad
  • I'd be sorry to like it; a dirty, beggarly, sickly place as I ever saw!

    The Midnight Queen May Agnes Fleming
  • But, Sir, these be nought save a parcel of beggarly craftsmen.

    Clare Avery Emily Sarah Holt
  • And all because she will not find a beggarly sum which she could get by turning her diamonds into paste.

    The Return of Sherlock Holmes Arthur Conan Doyle
  • I say, down with the aristocracy, the beggarly British aristocracy.

    Lavengro George Borrow
  • She pointed to the bare walls, the broken furniture, their beggarly attire.

  • I say down with the aristocracy, the beggarly British aristocracy.

    Lavengro George Borrow
  • You ran—you turned and ran to save your beggarly life—coward!

    The Kopje Garrison George Manville Fenn
  • O, the boy, a bare-legg'd beggarly son of a gun, For one-and-fourpence.

  • Confound him and his beggarly high cheek-bones, and his Caledonian pock-pits.

    Acadia Frederic S. Cozzens
British Dictionary definitions for beggarly


meanly inadequate; very poor: beggarly living conditions
Derived Forms
beggarliness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for beggarly

1520s, from beggar (n.) + -ly (1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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