without means of subsistence; lacking food, clothing, and shelter.
deprived of, devoid of, or lacking (often followed by of): destitute of children.
to leave destitute.
- des·ti·tute·ly, adverb
- des·ti·tute·ness, noun
- pre·des·ti·tute, adjective
- un·des·ti·tute, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use destitute in a sentence
When everyone is struggling, how much is to be offered to the more destitute, and how much is to be accepted?
What happened to the Christian concern to “love the least of these,” the most vulnerable, the most destitute?
And by 1918 much of Central and Eastern Europe was starving and destitute.
In critical ways, Russia remains technologically adept, but by its current behavior Russia is also revealed as morally destitute.Russia’s Missiles Stung the World Long Before MH17 | Clive Irving | July 20, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
From the American Dust Bowl, thousands of destitute farm families stream westward.Adam Hochschild on Keeping Company With His Dying Father | Adam Hochschild | June 14, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
When the old couple became bankrupt and died, the old nurse found herself alone and almost destitute in the world.The Garret and the Garden | R.M. Ballantyne
Louis was benevolent, but destitute of the decision of character requisite to hold the reins of government in so stormy a period.Madame Roland, Makers of History | John S. C. Abbott
Now here is a lady, well educated and delicately nurtured, who is destitute of the common necessaries of life.The World Before Them | Susanna Moodie
It must be borne in mind, in this consideration, that the apes differ from the other tree-dwellers in being destitute of claws.Man And His Ancestor | Charles Morris
The lower jaws in both were heavy, while the woman was almost destitute of a chin—a marked ape-like characteristic.Man And His Ancestor | Charles Morris
British Dictionary definitions for destitute
lacking the means of subsistence; totally impoverished
(postpositive foll by of) completely lacking; deprived or bereft (of): destitute of words
obsolete abandoned or deserted
- destituteness, noun
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