Poverty Pov"er*ty (p[o^]v"[~e]r*t[y^]), n. [OE. poverte, OF. povert['e], F. pauvret['e], fr. L. paupertas, fr. pauper poor. See {Poor}.] 1. The quality or state of being poor or indigent; want or scarcity of means of subsistence; indigence; need. ``Swathed in numblest poverty.'' --Keble. [1913 Webster]

The drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty. --Prov. xxiii. 21. [1913 Webster]

2. Any deficiency of elements or resources that are needed or desired, or that constitute richness; as, poverty of soil; poverty of the blood; poverty of ideas. [1913 Webster]

{Poverty grass} (Bot.), a name given to several slender grasses (as {Aristida dichotoma}, and {Danthonia spicata}) which often spring up on old and worn-out fields. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Indigence; penury; beggary; need; lack; want; scantiness; sparingness; meagerness; jejuneness.

Usage: {Poverty}, {Indigence}, {Pauperism}. Poverty is a relative term; what is poverty to a monarch, would be competence for a day laborer. Indigence implies extreme distress, and almost absolute destitution. Pauperism denotes entire dependence upon public charity, and, therefore, often a hopeless and degraded state. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

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