English Dictionary

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poor (pʊə Pronunciation for poor ; pɔː Pronunciation for poor



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

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: poorPronunciation for 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: فَقِيرPronunciation for فَقِير
  • Brazilian Portuguese: pobrePronunciation for pobre
  • Chinese: 贫穷的Pronunciation for 贫穷的
  • Croatian: siromašanPronunciation for siromašan siromašna
  • Czech: chudýPronunciation for chudý
  • Danish: fattigPronunciation for fattig
  • Dutch: armPronunciation for arm
  • European Spanish: pobrePronunciation for pobre
  • Finnish: köyhäPronunciation for köyhä
  • French: pauvrePronunciation for pauvre
  • German: armPronunciation for arm
  • Greek: φτωχόςPronunciation for φτωχός φτωχή
  • Italian: poveroPronunciation for povero povera
  • Japanese: 貧しいPronunciation for 貧しい
  • Korean: 가난한Pronunciation for 가난한
  • Norwegian: fattigPronunciation for fattig
  • Polish: biednyPronunciation for biedny biedna
  • Portuguese: pobrePronunciation for pobre
  • Romanian: sărac săracă, săraci, sărace
  • Russian: бедныйPronunciation for бедный бедная
  • Spanish: pobrePronunciation for pobre
  • Swedish: fattigPronunciation for fattig fattigt
  • Thai: ยากจนPronunciation for ยากจน
  • Turkish: yoksulPronunciation for yoksul
  • Ukrainian: бідний
  • Vietnamese: nghèoPronunciation for nghèo

Example Sentences Including 'poor'

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)
The Kariens built poor copies that were vastly inferior to their Fardohnyan originals.
Jennifer Fallon TREASON KEEP (2001)


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