poverty

[pov-er-tee]

noun

the state or condition of having little or no money, goods, or means of support; condition of being poor.
deficiency of necessary or desirable ingredients, qualities, etc.: poverty of the soil.
scantiness; insufficiency: Their efforts to stamp out disease were hampered by a poverty of medical supplies.

Nearby words

  1. pout,
  2. pouter,
  3. poutine,
  4. pouty,
  5. pov,
  6. poverty level,
  7. poverty line,
  8. poverty trap,
  9. poverty-stricken,
  10. povidone-iodine

Origin of poverty

1125–75; Middle English poverte < Old French < Latin paupertāt- (stem of paupertās) small means, moderate circumstances. See pauper, -ty2

Synonym study

1. Poverty, destitution, need, want imply a state of privation and lack of necessities. Poverty denotes serious lack of the means for proper existence: living in a state of extreme poverty. Destitution, a somewhat more literary word, implies a state of having absolutely none of the necessities of life: widespread destitution in countries at war. Need emphasizes the fact that help or relief is necessary: Most of the people were in great need. Want emphasizes privations, especially lack of food and clothing: Families were suffering from want.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for poverty


British Dictionary definitions for poverty

poverty

noun

the condition of being without adequate food, money, etc
scarcity or deartha poverty of wit
a lack of elements conducive to fertility in land or soil

Word Origin for poverty

C12: from Old French poverté, from Latin paupertās restricted means, from pauper poor

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 poverty

poverty

n.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper