poverty

[ pov-er-tee ]
/ ˈpɒv ər ti /

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

/ (ˈpɒvətɪ) /

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