[ pen-yuh-ree ]
/ ˈpɛn yə ri /


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


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Origin of penury

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin pēnūria; akin to Greek peîna hunger, penía poverty Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for penury

British Dictionary definitions for penury

/ (ˈpɛnjʊrɪ) /


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