- having little or no money, goods, or other means of support: a poor family living on welfare.
- Law. dependent upon charity or public support.
- (of a country, institution, etc.) meagerly supplied or endowed with resources or funds.
- characterized by or showing poverty.
- deficient or lacking in something specified: a region poor in mineral deposits.
- faulty or inferior, as in construction: poor workmanship.
- deficient in desirable ingredients, qualities, or the like: poor soil.
- excessively lean or emaciated, as cattle.
- of an inferior, inadequate, or unsatisfactory kind: poor health.
- lacking in skill, ability, or training: a poor cook.
- deficient in moral excellence; cowardly, abject, or mean.
- scanty, meager, or paltry in amount or number: a poor audience.
- humble; modest: They shared their poor meal with a stranger.
- unfortunate; hapless: The poor dog was limping.
- (used with a plural verb) poor persons collectively (usually preceded by the): sympathy for the poor.
- poor as a church mouse, extremely poor.
- poor as Job's turkey, extremely poor; impoverished.
Origin of poor
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for poor
Placed in drinking water, fluoride can serve people who otherwise have poor access to dental care.Anti-Fluoriders Are The OG Anti-Vaxxers
July 27, 2016
If so, he has his silence -- on top of poor judgment -- to blame.The Price of Steve Scalise’s Silence
January 7, 2015
But most likely it was linked to the way priests identify with the poor in the face of government and criminal abuses.Mexico’s Priests Are Marked for Murder
January 7, 2015
What they actually mean by that is, you know, he actually knows some people that are poor.Why This Liberal Hearts Huckabee
January 6, 2015
For those living in poor communities in particular, interactions with police rarely come with good news and a smile.How to Solve the Policing Crisis
January 5, 2015
Eudora was a mere infant when Phidias bought her of a poor goatherd in Phelle.
Men who take from the poor daily interest for a drachma, and spend it in debauchery.
Ask the poor fisherman at the gates, who has been to him as a brother; and he will answer 'Anaxagoras.'
"He said he was poor," urged Billy, who had been rather taken with the ease of Arledge's manner.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
He would not adopt a nameless orphan, found with a poor goatherd of Phelle.
- lacking financial or other means of subsistence; needy
- (as collective noun; preceded by the)the poor
- characterized by or indicating povertythe country had a poor economy
- deficient in amount; scanty or inadequatea poor salary
- (when postpositive, usually foll by in) badly supplied (with resources, materials, etc)a region poor in wild flowers
- lacking in quality; inferior
- giving no pleasure; disappointing or disagreeablea poor play
- (prenominal) deserving of pity; unluckypoor John is ill again
- poor man's something a (cheaper) substitute for something
Word Origin and History for poor
c.1200, "lacking money or resources, destitute; needy, indigent; small, scanty," from Old French povre "poor, wretched, dispossessed; inadequate; weak, thin" (Modern French pauvre), from Latin pauper "poor, not wealthy," from pre-Latin *pau-paros "producing little; getting little," a compound from the roots of paucus "little" (see paucity) and parare "to produce, bring forth" (see pare).
Replaced Old English earm. Figuratively from early 14c. Meaning "of inferior quality" is from c.1300. Of inhabited places from c.1300; of soil, etc., from late 14c. The poor boy sandwich, made of simple but filling ingredients, was invented and named in New Orleans in 1921. To poor mouth "deny one's advantages" is from 1965 (to make a poor mouth "whine" is Scottish dialect from 1822). Slang poor man's ________ "the cheaper alternative to _______," is from 1854.
"poor persons collectively," mid-12c., from poor (adj.). The Latin adjective pauper "poor" also was used in a noun sense "a poor man."