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[im-pi-kyoo-nee-uh s] /ˌɪm pɪˈkyu ni əs/
having little or no money; penniless; poor.
Origin of impecunious
1590-1600; im-2 + obsolete pecunious wealthy < Latin pecūniōsus, equivalent to pecūni(a) wealth + -ōsus -ous
Related forms
impecuniously, adverb
impecuniousness, impecuniosity
[im-pi-kyoo-nee-os-i-tee] /ˌɪm pɪˌkyu niˈɒs ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
destitute, poverty-stricken. See poor. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for impecunious
Historical Examples
  • All this riot of wealth would no doubt impress the impecunious Charles.

    Henry VIII. A. F. Pollard
  • But we never did it—because, I think, although we were plucky, we were impecunious!

    The History of "Punch"

    M. H. Spielmann
  • I'd not load one of them with a wild, impecunious Irishman like myself.

  • With him we have not anything to do, except to say that of all men he was the most impecunious.

    An Old Man's Love

    Anthony Trollope
  • They seemed an impecunious assemblage, gathered for mere sport.

    Mystic London: Charles Maurice Davies
  • We know whence they come, for they are often impecunious gentlemen, but where do they go?

    Fair Margaret Francis Marion Crawford
  • If you were one of the impecunious, there'd be a chance for you to-morrow.

  • He had married her when they were both young and impecunious.

    Narcissus Evelyn Scott
  • She was generous to impecunious celebrities of whom she had been told to expect success.

    Narcissus Evelyn Scott
  • Mr. Wingfield had formerly been an impecunious cowboy gambler.

    My Adventures with Your Money George Graham Rice
British Dictionary definitions for impecunious


without money; penniless
Derived Forms
impecuniously, adverb
impecuniousness, impecuniosity (ˌɪmpɪkjuːnɪˈɒsɪtɪ) noun
Word Origin
C16: from im- (not) + -pecunious, from Latin pecūniōsus wealthy, from pecūnia money
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 impecunious

"lacking in money," 1590s, from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + Latin pecuniosus "rich," from pecunia "money, property" (see pecuniary). Related: Impecuniously; impecuniosity.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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