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)


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