poverty
noun Usage: often attributive Etymology: Middle English poverte, from Anglo-French poverté, from Latin paupertat-, paupertas, from pauper poor — more at poor Date: 12th century 1. a. the state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions b. renunciation as a member of a religious order of the right as an individual to own property 2. scarcity, dearth 3. a. debility due to malnutrition b. lack of fertility Synonyms: poverty, indigence, penury, want, destitution mean the state of one with insufficient resources. poverty may cover a range from extreme want of necessities to an absence of material comforts <
the extreme poverty of the slum dwellers
>
. indigence implies seriously straitened circumstances <
the indigence of her years as a graduate student
>
. penury suggests a cramping or oppressive lack of money <
a catastrophic illness that condemned them to years of penury
>
. want and destitution imply extreme poverty that threatens life itself through starvation or exposure <
lived in a perpetual state of want
>
<
the widespread destitution in countries beset by famine
>
.

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Poverty — • Discusses poverty as a concept and canonical discipline Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Poverty     Poverty     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • poverty — pov‧er‧ty [ˈpɒvəti ǁ ˈpɑːvərti] noun [uncountable] 1. the situation or experience of being poor: • 86% of the population lives in poverty. • a major anti poverty initiative 2. the poverty line the income below which people are officially… …   Financial and business terms

  • poverty — poverty, indigence, penury, want, destitution, privation all denote the state of one who is poor or without enough to live upon. Poverty, the most comprehensive of these terms, typically implies such deficiency of resources that one is deprived… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • poverty — [päv′ər tē] n. [ME poverte < OFr povreté < L paupertas < pauper, POOR] 1. the condition or quality of being poor; indigence; need 2. deficiency in necessary properties or desirable qualities, or in a specific quality, etc.; inadequacy… …   English World dictionary

  • poverty — late 12c., from O.Fr. poverte, from L. paupertatem (nom. paupertas) poverty, from pauper (see POOR (Cf. poor)). Seeing so much poverty everywhere makes me think that God is not rich. He gives the appearance of it, but I suspect some financial… …   Etymology dictionary

  • poverty — poverty, poorness Poverty is the usual noun corresponding to poor in its meanings to do with lack of wealth or lack of things regarded like wealth (e.g. poverty of inspiration). Poorness is not often used and is more usual in meanings to do with… …   Modern English usage

  • poverty — I noun absence, bare subsistence, beggarliness, beggary, dearth, deficiency, deficit, depletion, destitution, difficulty, distress, embarrassed circumstances, exigency, famine, humbleness, impecuniosity, impecuniousness, impoverishment, indigence …   Law dictionary

  • poverty — [n] want; extreme need, often financial abjection, aridity, bankruptcy, barrenness, beggary, dearth, debt, deficiency, deficit, depletion, destitution, difficulty, distress, emptiness, exiguity, famine, hardship, impecuniousness, impoverishment,… …   New thesaurus

  • poverty — ► NOUN 1) the state of being extremely poor. 2) the state of being insufficient in amount. ORIGIN Old French poverte, from Latin pauper poor …   English terms dictionary

  • Poverty — Street children sleeping in Mulberry Street – Jacob Riis photo New York, United States (1890) Poverty is the state of one who lacks a certain amount of material possessions or money.[1] Absolute poverty or destitution is inability to afford …   Wikipedia

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