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[hav-not, -not] /ˈhævˌnɒt, -ˈnɒt/
Usually, have-nots. an individual or group that is without wealth, social position, or other material benefits (contrasted with have).
Origin of have-not
First recorded in 1830-40 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for have-not
Historical Examples
  • Africa is and has been throughout history a have-not continent.

    Border, Breed Nor Birth Dallas McCord Reynolds
  • He was so frightfully tired of life and its struggles; tired of being a have-not.

    The Lee Shore

    Rose Macaulay
  • And all the attendant causes for race wars, nationalist wars, and have-not wars would crop up.

    The Merchants of Venus A. H. Phelps
  • On top of that handicap was another; the have-not nations were so far behind economically that they couldn't get going.

    Black Man's Burden Dallas McCord Reynolds
British Dictionary definitions for have-not


(usually pl) a person or group of people in possession of relatively little material wealth
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 have-not

"poor person," 1742, from have + not. Have in the sense of "one who 'has,' one of the wealthier class of persons" is from the same source. Earliest in translation of "Don Quixote:

'A fig for Basilius's abilities! for, you are worth just as much as you have, and you have just as much as you are worth. There are but two families in the world, as my grandmother used to say; "the Have's and the Have-not's," and she stuck to the former; and now-a-days, master Don Quixote, people are more inclined to feel the pulse of Have than of Know.' ["Don Quixote de la Mancha," transl. Charles Jarvis, London, 1742]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for have-not



: the have-not nations of the Third World


A poor person, region, etc (1919+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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