- a law or system of laws providing for the relief or support of the poor at public expense.
Origin of poor law
First recorded in 1745–55
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for poor law
The evil of a poor-law can be no longer averted from Scotland.Leading Articles on Various Subjects
The general history of the poor-law is sufficiently familiar.The English Utilitarians, Volume I.
Thence to the English poor-law and the workhouse is but a step.The Conquest of Bread
Under this head also comes women's work as poor-law guardians.
He proposes, therefore, that the poor-law should be abolished.The English Utilitarians, Volume II (of 3)
- English history a law providing for the relief or support of the poor from public, esp parish, funds
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