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:

  • poorest — adjective most poor …   Wiktionary

  • poorest — pÊŠr /pÊŠÉ™ adj. indigent, poor; miserable, woeful; wretched, pitiable; deficient, lacking n. people who live in poverty, indigents …   English contemporary dictionary

  • poorest — earmost …   English to the Old English

  • poorest — superlative of poor …   Useful english dictionary

  • List of the poorest places in the United States — which has a per capita income of just $4,355.Locations with more than 3,000 populationThe poorest major locales in the United States all have high levels of ethnic or religious homogeneity, the second poorest, Cameron Park, Texas is the most… …   Wikipedia

  • poor or poorest — An ineffectual designation of the objects of one s bounty. Whenever the term poor or the term poorest has been used to describe a beneficiary in a bequest or devise, it has been held to be insufficient for uncertainty. McDonough s Executors v… …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • earmost — poorest …   The Old English to English

  • Fourth World — poorest of the Third World nations …   Eponyms, nicknames, and geographical games

  • Microcredit Summit Campaign — Type Non profit Founded 1997 Location Washington, DC Key people Sam Daley Harris, Director/Founder …   Wikipedia

  • Lowest-income counties in the United States — 100 poorest counties by per capita income= Number of counties by state in the 100 poorest counties: Texas, 17; Kentucky, 16; Mississippi, 14; South Dakota, 10; Louisiana, 5; Alabama, 4; Georgia, 4; Montana, 4; New Mexico, 4; North Dakota, 3;… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”