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Origin of penury

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

Synonyms for penury

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Antonyms for penury

1. wealth. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Contemporary Examples of penury

Historical Examples of penury

British Dictionary definitions for penury


  1. extreme poverty
  2. 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

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper