[ in-di-juhnt ]
/ ˈɪn dɪ dʒənt /


lacking food, clothing, and other necessities of life because of poverty; needy; poor; impoverished.
  1. deficient in what is requisite.
  2. destitute (usually followed by of).


a person who is indigent.

Nearby words

  1. indigency,
  2. indigene,
  3. indigenize,
  4. indigenous,
  5. indigenous australian,
  6. indigently,
  7. indigested,
  8. indigestible,
  9. indigestion,
  10. indigestive

Origin of indigent

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin indigent- (stem of indigēns) present participle of indigēre to need, lack, be poor, equivalent to ind- by-form of in- in-2 (cf. indagate) + -ig- (combining form of egēre to need, lack) + -ent- -ent

Related formsin·di·gent·ly, adverb

Can be confusedindigence indigentsindigent indignant Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for indigent

British Dictionary definitions for indigent


/ (ˈɪndɪdʒənt) /


so poor as to lack even necessities; very needy
(usually foll by of) archaic lacking (in) or destitute (of)


an impoverished person
Derived Formsindigence, nounindigently, adverb

Word Origin for indigent

C14: from Latin indigēre to need, from egēre to lack

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 indigent



c.1400, from Old French indigent, from Latin indigentem (see indigence). As a noun, "poor person," from early 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper