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See more synonyms for beggarly on Thesaurus.com
  1. like or befitting a beggar.
  2. meanly inadequate: How does he manage on such a beggarly salary?
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Origin of beggarly

First recorded in 1520–30; beggar + -ly
Related formsbeg·gar·li·ness, nounun·beg·gar·ly, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

abject, broke, destitute, down-and-out, inadequate, low, meager, mean, poverty-stricken

Examples from the Web for beggarly

Historical Examples

  • The dog too went: the most noble-looking item in the beggarly assets.


    Joseph Conrad

  • I'd be sorry to like it; a dirty, beggarly, sickly place as I ever saw!

    The Midnight Queen

    May Agnes Fleming

  • But, Sir, these be nought save a parcel of beggarly craftsmen.

    Clare Avery

    Emily Sarah Holt

  • And all because she will not find a beggarly sum which she could get by turning her diamonds into paste.

  • I say, down with the aristocracy, the beggarly British aristocracy.


    George Borrow

British Dictionary definitions for beggarly


  1. meanly inadequate; very poorbeggarly living conditions
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Derived Formsbeggarliness, 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 beggarly


1520s, from beggar (n.) + -ly (1).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper