[ hav-not, -not ]
/ ˈhævˌnɒt, -ˈnɒt /


Usually have-nots. an individual or group that is without wealth, social position, or other material benefits (contrasted with have).

Origin of have-not

First recorded in 1830–40
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for have-not

  • He was so frightfully tired of life and its struggles; tired of being a Have-Not.

    The Lee Shore|Rose Macaulay
  • On top of that handicap was another; the have-not nations were so far behind economically that they couldn't get going.

    Black Man's Burden|Dallas McCord Reynolds
  • And all the attendant causes for race wars, nationalist wars, and have-not wars would crop up.

  • Africa is and has been throughout history a have-not continent.

    Border, Breed Nor Birth|Dallas McCord Reynolds

British Dictionary definitions for have-not



(usually plural) a person or group of people in possession of relatively little material wealth
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 have-not



"poor person," 1742, from have + not. Have in the sense of "one who 'has,' one of the wealthier class of persons" is from the same source. Earliest in translation of "Don Quixote:

'A fig for Basilius's abilities! for, you are worth just as much as you have, and you have just as much as you are worth. There are but two families in the world, as my grandmother used to say; "the Have's and the Have-not's," and she stuck to the former; and now-a-days, master Don Quixote, people are more inclined to feel the pulse of Have than of Know.' ["Don Quixote de la Mancha," transl. Charles Jarvis, London, 1742]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper