adjective, poor·er, poor·est.
- poop sheet,
- poop staff,
- poor as a churchmouse,
- poor box,
- poor boy,
- poor boy sweater,
- poor farm
Origin of poor
Examples from the Web for poorness
She welcomed the captain to her quarters with profuse apologies for the poorness of the fare and the meagreness of the room.The Idol of The Blind|Tom Gallon
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|Evelyn Sharp
Not to be shamed among other girls by the poorness of her apparel was a pride to her.Ayala's Angel|Anthony Trollope
Most of them are out and out humbugs, and make up for their richness in drugs by their poorness in good, pure fat and alkali.A Handbook of Health|Woods Hutchinson
What architect now thinks of correcting the poorness of hard, straight lines by very slightly curving them?The Practice and Science Of Drawing|Harold Speed
- 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."