Poor law
Poor Poor, a. [Compar. {Poorer} (?; 254); superl. {Poorest}.] [OE. poure or povre, OF. povre, F. pauvre, L. pauper; the first syllable of which is probably akin to paucus few (see {Paucity}, {Few}), and the second to parare to prepare, procure. See {Few}, and cf. {Parade}, {Pauper}, {Poverty}.] 1. Destitute of property; wanting in material riches or goods; needy; indigent. [1913 Webster]

Note: It is often synonymous with indigent and with necessitous denoting extreme want. It is also applied to persons who are not entirely destitute of property, but who are not rich; as, a poor man or woman; poor people. [1913 Webster]

2. (Law) So completely destitute of property as to be entitled to maintenance from the public. [1913 Webster]

3. Hence, in very various applications: Destitute of such qualities as are desirable, or might naturally be expected; as: (a) Wanting in fat, plumpness, or fleshiness; lean; emaciated; meager; as, a poor horse, ox, dog, etc. ``Seven other kine came up after them, poor and very ill-favored and lean-fleshed.'' --Gen. xli. 19. (b) Wanting in strength or vigor; feeble; dejected; as, poor health; poor spirits. ``His genius . . . poor and cowardly.'' --Bacon. (c) Of little value or worth; not good; inferior; shabby; mean; as, poor clothes; poor lodgings. ``A poor vessel.'' --Clarendon. (d) Destitute of fertility; exhausted; barren; sterile; -- said of land; as, poor soil. (e) Destitute of beauty, fitness, or merit; as, a poor discourse; a poor picture. (f) Without prosperous conditions or good results; unfavorable; unfortunate; unconformable; as, a poor business; the sick man had a poor night. (g) Inadequate; insufficient; insignificant; as, a poor excuse. [1913 Webster]

That I have wronged no man will be a poor plea or apology at the last day. --Calamy. [1913 Webster]

4. Worthy of pity or sympathy; -- used also sometimes as a term of endearment, or as an expression of modesty, and sometimes as a word of contempt. [1913 Webster]

And for mine own poor part, Look you, I'll go pray. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Poor, little, pretty, fluttering thing. --Prior. [1913 Webster]

5. Free from self-assertion; not proud or arrogant; meek. ``Blessed are the poor in spirit.'' --Matt. v. 3. [1913 Webster]

{Poor law}, a law providing for, or regulating, the relief or support of the poor.

{Poor man's treacle} (Bot.), garlic; -- so called because it was thought to be an antidote to animal poison. [Eng] --Dr. Prior.

{Poor man's weatherglass} (Bot.), the red-flowered pimpernel ({Anagallis arvensis}), which opens its blossoms only in fair weather.

{Poor rate}, an assessment or tax, as in an English parish, for the relief or support of the poor.

{Poor soldier} (Zo["o]l.), the friar bird.

{The poor}, those who are destitute of property; the indigent; the needy. In a legal sense, those who depend on charity or maintenance by the public. ``I have observed the more public provisions are made for the poor, the less they provide for themselves.'' --Franklin. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Poor Law — Poor Laws Les Poor Laws ( Lois sur les Pauvres ) se réfèrent à l allocation d une aide financière pour les plus pauvres en vigueur en Angleterre et dans le reste du Royaume Uni entre le XVIe siècle et le XIXe siècle. Elles furent… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Poor law — Poor Laws Les Poor Laws ( Lois sur les Pauvres ) se réfèrent à l allocation d une aide financière pour les plus pauvres en vigueur en Angleterre et dans le reste du Royaume Uni entre le XVIe siècle et le XIXe siècle. Elles furent… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • poor law — poor′ law n. a law or system of laws providing for the relief or support of the poor at public expense • Etymology: 1745–55 …   From formal English to slang

  • Poor law — (engl., spr. pūr lao, »Armengesetz«), in England die gesetzlichen Bestimmungen über öffentliches Armenwesen. Hauptorgan der Armenpflege sind die Unions (Bezirke), die in der Regel aus mehreren Parishs (Kirchspielen) zusammengesetzt sind, aber… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • poor-law — poorˈ law adjective • • • Main Entry: ↑poor …   Useful english dictionary

  • Poor Law — This article deals chiefly with the English Poor Laws covering England and Wales. For the laws regarding the other areas of the British Isles see Irish Poor Laws and Scottish Poor Law The Poor Law was the system for the provision of social… …   Wikipedia

  • poor law — noun a law providing support for the poor • Topics: ↑law, ↑jurisprudence • Hypernyms: ↑law * * * noun Etymology: poor (II) : a law providing for or regulating the pub …   Useful english dictionary

  • poor law — a law or system of laws providing for the relief or support of the poor at public expense. [1745 55] * * * In British history, a body of laws undertaking to provide relief for the poor, developed in 16th century England and maintained, with… …   Universalium

  • poor law — noun the Poor Law a group of British laws which controlled the help given to poor people in former times …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • poor law — noun Date: 1752 a law providing for or regulating the public relief or support of the poor …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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