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poor Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun people without possessions or wealth (considered as a group)
    poor people.
    • the urban poor need assistance
  2. adjective satellite deserving or inciting pity
    wretched; pathetic; pitiable; piteous; misfortunate; miserable; pitiful; hapless.
    • a hapless victim
    • miserable victims of war
    • the shabby room struck her as extraordinarily pathetic"- Galsworthy
    • piteous appeals for help
    • pitiable homeless children
    • a pitiful fate
    • Oh, you poor thing
    • his poor distorted limbs
    • a wretched life
  3. adjective having little money or few possessions
    • deplored the gap between rich and poor countries
    • the proverbial poor artist living in a garret
  4. adjective characterized by or indicating poverty
    • the country had a poor economy
    • they lived in the poor section of town
  5. adjective lacking in specific resources, qualities or substances
    • a poor land
    • the area was poor in timber and coal
    • food poor in nutritive value
  6. adjective satellite not sufficient to meet a need
    inadequate; short.
    • an inadequate income
    • a poor salary
    • money is short
    • on short rations
    • food is in short supply
    • short on experience
  7. adjective satellite unsatisfactory
    • a poor light for reading
    • poor morale
    • expectations were poor

Poor adjective
OE. poure or povre, OF. povre, F. pauvre, L. pauper; the first syllable of which is probably akin to paucus few (see Paucity, Few), and the second to parare to prepare, procure. See Few, and cf. Parade, Pauper, Poverty.
comparative Poorer superlative Poorest
  1. Destitute of property; wanting in material riches or goods; needy; indigent. ✍ It is often synonymous with indigent and with necessitous denoting extreme want. It is also applied to persons who are not entirely destitute of property, but who are not rich; as, a poor man or woman; poor people.
  2. (Law) So completely destitute of property as to be entitled to maintenance from the public.
  3. Hence, in very various applications: Destitute of such qualities as are desirable, or might naturally be expected; as: (a) Wanting in fat, plumpness, or fleshiness; lean; emaciated; meager; as, a poor horse, ox, dog, etc. "Seven other kine came up after them, poor and very ill-favored and lean-fleshed." Gen. xli. 19. (b) Wanting in strength or vigor; feeble; dejected; as, poor health; poor spirits. "His genius . . . poor and cowardly." Bacon. (c) Of little value or worth; not good; inferior; shabby; mean; as, poor clothes; poor lodgings. "A poor vessel." Clarendon. (d) Destitute of fertility; exhausted; barren; sterile; -- said of land; as, poor soil. (e) Destitute of beauty, fitness, or merit; as, a poor discourse; a poor picture. (f) Without prosperous conditions or good results; unfavorable; unfortunate; unconformable; as, a poor business; the sick man had a poor night. (g) Inadequate; insufficient; insignificant; as, a poor excuse.
    That I have wronged no man will be a poor plea or apology at the last day. Calamy.
  4. Worthy of pity or sympathy; -- used also sometimes as a term of endearment, or as an expression of modesty, and sometimes as a word of contempt.
    And for mine own poor part, Look you, I'll go pray. Shak.
    Poor, little, pretty, fluttering thing. Prior.
  5. Free from self-assertion; not proud or arrogant; meek. "Blessed are the poor in spirit." Matt. v. 3.
Poor noun
  1. (Zoöl.) A small European codfish (Gadus minutus); -- called also power cod.

Webster 1913

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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