meager
or meagre adjective Etymology: Middle English megre, from Anglo-French megre, meigre, from Latin macr-, macer lean; akin to Old English mæger lean, Greek makros long Date: 14th century 1. having little flesh ; thin 2. a. lacking desirable qualities (as richness or strength) <
leading a meager life
>
b. deficient in quality or quantity <
a meager diet
>
meagerly adverbmeagerness noun Synonyms: meager, scanty, scant, skimpy, spare, sparse mean falling short of what is normal, necessary, or desirable. meager implies the absence of elements, qualities, or numbers necessary to a thing's richness, substance, or potency <
a meager portion of meat
>
. scanty stresses insufficiency in amount, quantity, or extent <
supplies too scanty to last the winter
>
. scant suggests a falling short of what is desired or desirable rather than of what is essential <
in January the daylight hours are scant
>
. skimpy usually suggests niggardliness or penury as the cause of the deficiency <
tacky housing developments on skimpy lots
>
. spare may suggest a slight falling short of adequacy or merely an absence of superfluity <
a spare, concise style of writing
>
. sparse implies a thin scattering of units <
a sparse population
>
.

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • meager — meager, scanty, scant, skimpy, scrimpy, exiguous, spare, sparse are comparable when they mean so small (as in amount, number, or size) as to fall short of what is normal, necessary, or desirable. Meager stresses thinness: as applied to persons or …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Meager — Mea ger, Meagre Mea gre, a. [OE. merge, F. maigre, L. macer; akin to D. & G. mager, Icel. magr, and prob. to Gr. makro s long. Cf. {Emaciate}, {Maigre}.] [1913 Webster] 1. Destitue of, or having little, flesh; lean. [1913 Webster] Meager were his …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Meager — or Meagre (see American and British English spelling differences) can refer to: Meagre set (also meager set) in mathematics Mount Meager (also Mount Meagre, Mount Meagher) in British Columbia, Canada Meager Creek, a creek in British Columbia,… …   Wikipedia

  • meager — [mē′gər] adj. [ME megre < OFr megre (Fr maigre) < L macer, lean, thin < IE * makro < base * māk , long and thin > Gr makros, long, OE mæger, meager] 1. thin; lean; emaciated 2. of poor quality or small amount; not full or rich;… …   English World dictionary

  • meager — [adj1] small, inadequate; poor bare, barren, deficient, exiguous, flimsy, inappreciable, inconsiderable, infertile, insubstantial, insufficient, little, mere, minimum, miserable, paltry, puny, scant, scanty, scrimp, scrimpy, shabby, short, skimp …   New thesaurus

  • Meager — Mea ger, Meagre Mea gre, v. t. To make lean. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • meager — index de minimus, deficient, inappreciable, inconsiderable, insufficient, marginal, mediocre, minimal …   Law dictionary

  • meager — (adj.) late 14c. (late 12c. as a surname), lean, thin, emaciated (of persons or animals), from O.Fr. megre, maigre thin (12c.), from L. macrum (nom. macer) lean, thin (source of Sp., Port., It. magro), from PIE *makro (see MACRO (Cf. macro )). Of …   Etymology dictionary

  • meager — meagerly, adv. meagerness, n. /mee geuhr/, adj. 1. deficient in quantity or quality; lacking fullness or richness; scanty; inadequate: a meager salary; meager fare; a meager harvest. 2. having little flesh; lean; thin: a body meager with hunger.… …   Universalium

  • meager — adjective 1) their meager earnings Syn: inadequate, scanty, scant, paltry, limited, restricted, modest, insufficient, sparse, deficient, negligible, skimpy, slender, poor, miserable, pitiful, puny …   Thesaurus of popular words

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