beggar

[ beg-er ]
/ ˈbɛg ər /

noun

a person who begs alms or lives by begging.
a penniless person.
a wretched fellow; rogue: the surly beggar who collects the rents.
a child or youngster (usually preceded by little): a sudden urge to hug the little beggar.

verb (used with object)

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.

Nearby words

  1. begat,
  2. begats,
  3. begem,
  4. beget,
  5. begetter,
  6. beggar description,
  7. beggar's opera, the,
  8. beggar's-lice,
  9. beggar-my-neighbor,
  10. beggar-my-neighbour

Origin of beggar

First recorded in 1175–1225, beggar is from the Middle English word beggare, beggere. See beg1, -er1, -ar3

Related formsbeg·gar·hood, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for beggar


British Dictionary definitions for beggar

beggar

/ (ˈbɛɡə) /

noun

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!

verb (tr)

to be beyond the resources of (esp in the phrase to beggar description)
to impoverish; reduce to begging
Derived Formsbeggarhood or beggardom, 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

Word Origin and History for beggar
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper