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[mee-ger] /ˈmi gər/
deficient in quantity or quality; lacking fullness or richness; scanty; inadequate:
a meager salary; meager fare; a meager harvest.
having little flesh; lean; thin:
a body meager with hunger.
Also, especially British, meagre.
Origin of meager
1300-50; Middle English megre < Old French maigre < Latin macer lean
Related forms
meagerly, adverb
meagerness, noun
1. See scanty. 2. gaunt, spare, skinny. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for meager
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • From this meager thing her great need could in a way create the feeling that she was going to meet Howie.

  • Over the area of the plain and the rolling hills were meager wisps of clouds.

    Attrition Jim Wannamaker
  • Narrow and meager social life means limitation of the scope of activities in which its members may engage.

    Ethics John Dewey and James Hayden Tufts
  • The tall, meager figure of Mrs. Caley appeared upon the porch.

    Mountain Blood Joseph Hergesheimer
  • The transitory amazement of a few relatives was a meager consolation for the doubts and agonies of nine slow months.

    Carnival Compton Mackenzie
Word Origin and History for meager

late 14c. (late 12c. as a surname), "lean, thin, emaciated" (of persons or animals), from Old French megre, maigre "thin" (12c.), from Latin macrum (nominative macer) "lean, thin" (source of Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian magro), from PIE *makro- (see macro-). Of material things (land, food, etc.) from early 15c. Cognate Germanic words (Old Norse magr "thin," Old High German magar, German mager, Middle Dutch magher, Dutch mager, Old English mæger) come directly from the PIE root via Proto-Germanic *magras and are not from Latin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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