penury

[ pen-yuh-ree ]
/ ˈpɛn yə ri /

noun

extreme poverty; destitution.
scarcity; dearth; inadequacy; insufficiency.

Nearby words

  1. penultima,
  2. penultimate,
  3. penumbra,
  4. penurious,
  5. penuriously,
  6. penutian,
  7. penza,
  8. penzance,
  9. penzias,
  10. penzias, arno allan

Origin of penury

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin pēnūria; akin to Greek peîna hunger, penía poverty

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

Examples from the Web for penury


British Dictionary definitions for penury

penury

/ (ˈpɛnjʊrɪ) /

noun

extreme poverty
extreme scarcity

Word Origin for penury

C15: from Latin pēnūria dearth, of obscure origin

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 penury

penury

n.

c.1400, from Latin penuria "want, need; scarcity," related to paene "scarcely."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper