- 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 poorer
“This is tragic because nobody needs good policing more than poorer neighborhoods with higher crime rates,” Obama said.Darren Wilson Wasn’t Indicted—the System Was
November 25, 2014
It captured a worldview and fate that I hope the people from the poorer parts of the state can one day escape.The State Where the Right Won the Culture War
October 10, 2014
Another group more likely to be poorer than others is young adults aged 18 to 24.The U.S. Is Losing a Generation to Poverty
September 18, 2014
Much smaller, poorer countries are opening their gates for refugees from violence-torn parts of the world.Is it Time to Send Lady Liberty Back to France?
July 20, 2014
She paints the current rodent situation as more than a foul inconvenience, and one that is a particular blight on poorer areas.Crowdsourcing NYC’s War on Rats
June 24, 2014
He supposed he must think up something to daub on there—the poorer the better.Chip, of the Flying U
B. M. Bower
Reading that phrase, you feel the earth is poorer for her loss.Tiverton Tales
We can just hold on, and I would not have him a pound the poorer for me.The Stark Munro Letters
J. Stark Munro
The Schlegels were certainly the poorer for the loss of Wickham Place.Howards End
E. M. Forster
He's poorer'n poverty and it's cheap livin' down at Martha Phipps's.Galusha the Magnificent
Joseph C. Lincoln
- 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 poorer
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."