- to reduce to utter poverty; impoverish: The family had been beggared by the war.
- to cause one's resources of or ability for (description, comparison, etc.) to seem poor or inadequate: The costume beggars description.
Origin of beggar
Examples from the Web for beggar
Better to be a beggar in freedom,” he cried out, “than to be forced into compromises against my conscience.The Catholic Philosopher Who Took on Hitler
John Henry Crosby
December 26, 2014
Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief, doctor, lawyer, Indian chief, and all that.Joseph Campbell on the Roots of Halloween
October 31, 2014
In an interview, Liang said, “Air should be the most valueless commodity, free to breathe for any vagrant or beggar.”The Chinese Can’t Catch Their Breath
May 5, 2014
The landays in I Am the Beggar of the World are sung only when men are absent.
I am the Beggar of the World is a book of poems, war reportage, and photographs.
In reply he offers me, as if I were a beggar, employment for my sons.The Raid From Beausejour; And How The Carter Boys Lifted The Mortgage
Charles G. D. Roberts
I can only attribute it to the love interest associated with the beggar.Yorkshire Painted And Described
And is not the whole land like a beggar on horseback riding post to the Davil?Old News
Though I thank you heartily all the same; it would be a shame at my age to be a beggar.
Must a man be a beggar because he is run over, or because he is half blind?
- a person who begs, esp one who lives by begging
- a person who has no money or resources; pauper
- ironic, jocular, mainly British fellowlucky beggar!
- to be beyond the resources of (esp in the phrase to beggar description)
- to impoverish; reduce to begging
Word Origin and History for beggar
c.1200, from Old French begart, originally a member of the Beghards, lay brothers of mendicants in the Low Countries, from Middle Dutch beggaert "mendicant," of uncertain origin, with pejorative suffix (see -ard). Cf. Beguine. Early folk etymology connected the English word with bag. Form with -ar attested from 14c., but begger was more usual 15c.-17c. The feminine form beggestere is attested as a surname from c.1300. Beggar's velvet was an old name for "dust bunnies." "Beggers should be no choosers" is in Heywood (1562).
"reduce to poverty," mid-15c., from beggar (n.). Related: Beggared; beggaring. Figurative use by 1640s.