English Dictionary

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poor (pʊə ; pɔː



    1. lacking financial or other means of subsistence; needy
    2. (as collective noun; preceded by the)   ⇒  ■ the poor
  1. characterized by or indicating poverty   ⇒  ■ the country had a poor economy
  2. deficient in amount; scanty or inadequate   ⇒  ■ a poor salary
  3. when postpositive, usually foll by in badly supplied (with resources, materials, etc)   ⇒  ■ a region poor in wild flowers
  4. lacking in quality; inferior
  5. giving no pleasure; disappointing or disagreeable   ⇒  ■ a poor play
  6. (prenominal) deserving of pity; unlucky   ⇒  ■ poor John is ill again
  7. See poor man's something

Derived Forms

ˈpoorness  noun

Word Origin

C13: from Old French povre, from Latin pauper; see pauper, poverty


View thesaurus entry
= impoverished, broke (informal), badly off, hard up (informal), short, in need, needy, on the rocks, penniless, destitute, poverty-stricken, down and out, skint (British) (slang), in want, indigent, down at heel, impecunious, dirt-poor (informal), on the breadline, flat broke (informal), penurious, on your uppers, stony-broke (British) (slang), necessitous, in queer street, without two pennies to rub together (informal), on your beam-ends
= inferior, unsatisfactory, mediocre, second-rate, sorry, weak, pants (informal), rotten (informal), faulty, feeble, worthless, shabby, shoddy, low-grade, below par, substandard, low-rent (informal), for the birds (informal), crappy (slang), valueless, no great shakes (informal), rubbishy, poxy (slang), piss-poor (slang), chickenshit (US) (slang), not much cop (British) (slang), half-pie (New Zealand) (informal), strictly for the birds (informal), bodger or bodgie (Australian) (slang)

Quotations including 'poor'

  • "The poor man is happy; he expects no change for the worse" [Demetrius]
  • "The poor always ye have with you" [Bible: St. John]
  • "Poor and content is rich and rich enough" [William Shakespeare

Translations for 'poor'

  • British English: poor Someone who is poor has very little money and few possessions.The reason our schools cannot afford better teachers is because people here are poor.pʊə; pɔː ADJECTIVE
  • Arabic: فَقِير
  • Brazilian Portuguese: pobre
  • Chinese: 贫穷的
  • Croatian: siromašan siromašna
  • Czech: chudý
  • Danish: fattig
  • Dutch: arm
  • European Spanish: pobre
  • Finnish: köyhä
  • French: pauvre
  • German: arm
  • Greek: φτωχός φτωχή
  • Italian: povero povera
  • Japanese: 貧しい
  • Korean: 가난한
  • Norwegian: fattig
  • Polish: biedny biedna
  • Portuguese: pobre
  • Romanian: sărac săracă, săraci, sărace
  • Russian: бедный бедная
  • Spanish: pobre
  • Swedish: fattig fattigt
  • Thai: ยากจน
  • Turkish: yoksul
  • Ukrainian: бідний
  • Vietnamese: nghèo

Example Sentences Including 'poor'

The Kariens built poor copies that were vastly inferior to their Fardohnyan originals.
Jennifer Fallon TREASON KEEP (2001)
But our friend Napier wasn't a poor boy scrabbling in the gutter.
Robert Wilson BLOOD IS DIRT (2002)
Even in his imagination, she had been a poor substitute for R'shiel.
Jennifer Fallon TREASON KEEP (2001)


Comment by Childeater on 15 Oct 2015

In the sounds both pronunciations are the same, but according to the phonetic symbols the second pronunciation should be more like the "oor" in door, where the mouth doesn't move. At the moment the sounds simply seem to be different pitches.

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