- having little or no money, goods, or other means of support: a poor family living on welfare.
- Law. dependent upon charity or public support.
- (of a country, institution, etc.) meagerly supplied or endowed with resources or funds.
- characterized by or showing poverty.
- deficient or lacking in something specified: a region poor in mineral deposits.
- faulty or inferior, as in construction: poor workmanship.
- deficient in desirable ingredients, qualities, or the like: poor soil.
- excessively lean or emaciated, as cattle.
- of an inferior, inadequate, or unsatisfactory kind: poor health.
- lacking in skill, ability, or training: a poor cook.
- deficient in moral excellence; cowardly, abject, or mean.
- scanty, meager, or paltry in amount or number: a poor audience.
- humble; modest: They shared their poor meal with a stranger.
- unfortunate; hapless: The poor dog was limping.
- (used with a plural verb) poor persons collectively (usually preceded by the): sympathy for the poor.
- poor as a church mouse, extremely poor.
- poor as Job's turkey, extremely poor; impoverished.
Origin of poor
Synonyms for poorSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Antonyms for poor
Examples from the Web for poorness
Historical Examples of poorness
I am taught the poorness of our invention, the ugliness of towns and palaces.Essays, Second Series
Ralph Waldo Emerson
I never could see no 'poorness of spirit,' come to git at 'em!Stories by American Authors (Volume 4)
Constance Fenimore Woolson
I knew the state of Spain well, his weakness, his poorness, his humbleness at this time.Raleigh
It showed her deep knowledge of her poorness in laying bare the fact.The Amazing Marriage, Complete
It was just like my poorness to think I could ever marry any one so clever and spry as yourself.The Making of a Prig
- lacking financial or other means of subsistence; needy
- (as collective noun; preceded by the)the poor
- characterized by or indicating povertythe country had a poor economy
- deficient in amount; scanty or inadequatea poor salary
- (when postpositive, usually foll by in) badly supplied (with resources, materials, etc)a region poor in wild flowers
- lacking in quality; inferior
- giving no pleasure; disappointing or disagreeablea poor play
- (prenominal) deserving of pity; unluckypoor John is ill again
- poor man's something a (cheaper) substitute for something
Word Origin for poor
Word Origin and History for poorness
c.1200, "lacking money or resources, destitute; needy, indigent; small, scanty," from Old French povre "poor, wretched, dispossessed; inadequate; weak, thin" (Modern French pauvre), from Latin pauper "poor, not wealthy," from pre-Latin *pau-paros "producing little; getting little," a compound from the roots of paucus "little" (see paucity) and parare "to produce, bring forth" (see pare).
Replaced Old English earm. Figuratively from early 14c. Meaning "of inferior quality" is from c.1300. Of inhabited places from c.1300; of soil, etc., from late 14c. The poor boy sandwich, made of simple but filling ingredients, was invented and named in New Orleans in 1921. To poor mouth "deny one's advantages" is from 1965 (to make a poor mouth "whine" is Scottish dialect from 1822). Slang poor man's ________ "the cheaper alternative to _______," is from 1854.
"poor persons collectively," mid-12c., from poor (adj.). The Latin adjective pauper "poor" also was used in a noun sense "a poor man."