adjective, poor·er, poor·est.
Origin of poor
Synonyms for poor
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
Word Origin for poor
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."