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poor relation

a person or thing considered inferior to another or others: plastic is a poor relation of real leather
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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Examples from the Web for poor relation
Historical Examples
  • If I didn't take it you and Joel might have had a poor relation to board and lodge.

    Fair Harbor

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • A poor relation represented, to him, the lowest form of animal life.

    On the Stairs Henry B. Fuller
  • She had been the poor relation, the daughter of a dreaming failure.

    Hunters Out of Space Joseph Everidge Kelleam
  • A poor relation; this her one yearly peep at the world—the world to her.

    Paths of Judgement Anne Douglas Sedgwick
  • I shouldnt like to be a poor relation of Mrs. Merricks, Geoffrey observed.

    Paths of Judgement Anne Douglas Sedgwick
  • It was for your own sake; and in order that your poor relation should do honor to your generosity.

    The Honor of the Name Emile Gaboriau
  • For twenty-three years, she, the poor relation, had lived with him like that!

  • In her house at that time there lived a poor relation of her husband.

    Chitta Ranjan Sukumar Ranjan Das
  • But she is like a poor relation, always turning up at the wrong time!

    Lady of the Decoration Frances Little
  • What was she anyway but some poor relation likely who was acting as housekeeper?

    Cloudy Jewel Grace Livingston Hill
Idioms and Phrases with poor relation

poor relation

An inferior member of a group, as in Many regard Turkey as the poor relation in the European alliance. This expression, first recorded in 1720 for a family member in humble circumstances, began to be used figuratively in the mid-1900s.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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