[syn: inadequate, poor, short]
- Example: "a poor light for reading"
- Example: "poor morale"
- Example: "expectations were poor"
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Poor \Poor\, a. [Compar. Poorer (?; 254); superl. Poorest.]
[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.]
1. Destitute of property; wanting in material riches or
goods; needy; indigent.
Note: 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
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
(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
(c) Of little value or worth; not good; inferior; shabby;
mean; as, poor clothes; poor lodgings. "A poor
(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
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 law, a law providing for, or regulating, the relief or
support of the poor.
Poor man's treacle (Bot.), garlic; -- so called because it
was thought to be an antidote to animal poison. [Eng]
Poor man's weatherglass (Bot.), the red-flowered pimpernel
(Anagallis arvensis), which opens its blossoms only in
Poor rate, an assessment or tax, as in an English parish,
for the relief or support of the poor.
Poor soldier (Zool.), the friar bird.
The poor, those who are destitute of property; the
indigent; the needy. In a legal sense, those who depend on
charity or maintenance by the public. "I have observed the
more public provisions are made for the poor, the less
they provide for themselves." --Franklin.
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Poor \Poor\, n. (Zool.)
A small European codfish (Gadus minutus); -- called also
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
adj 1: deserving or inciting pity; "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" [syn: hapless, miserable,
misfortunate, pathetic, piteous, pitiable,
pitiful, poor, wretched]
2: having little money or few possessions; "deplored the gap
between rich and poor countries"; "the proverbial poor artist
living in a garret" [ant: rich]
3: characterized by or indicating poverty; "the country had a
poor economy"; "they lived in the poor section of town" [ant:
4: lacking in specific resources, qualities or substances; "a
poor land"; "the area was poor in timber and coal"; "food
poor in nutritive value" [ant: rich]
5: not sufficient to meet a need; "an inadequate income"; "a
poor salary"; "money is short"; "on short rations"; "food is
in short supply"; "short on experience" [syn: inadequate,
6: unsatisfactory; "a poor light for reading"; "poor morale";
"expectations were poor"
n 1: people without possessions or wealth (considered as a
group); "the urban poor need assistance" [syn: poor
people, poor] [ant: rich, rich people]
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
390 Moby Thesaurus words for "poor":
DP, Lenten, Mickey Mouse, Spartan, abject, abominable, abstemious,
against, amateurish, arrant, artless, ascetic, atrocious,
attenuated, austere, awful, bad, badly off, bankrupt, bare-handed,
barren, base, beggared, beggarly, below par, beneath contempt,
broke, bumbling, cadaverous, cheap, cheeseparing, cheesy, chinchy,
chintzy, chronic poor, chronic poverty area, coarse, common, con,
contemptible, corpselike, crumbling, crummy, debased, decrepit,
defective, deficient, degraded, depleted, depraved,
depressed class, depressed population, despicable, destitute,
destitution, dirty, disappointed, disapprobatory, disapproving,
discontented, disenchanted, disgruntled, disgusting, disillusioned,
disintegrating, displeased, dissatisfied, dissenting, distressed,
down to bedrock, down-and-out, dwarfed, dwarfish, emacerated,
emaciate, emaciated, embarrassed, empty-handed, execrable,
exhausted, exiguous, famished, faulty, feeble, feeling the pinch,
flagrant, flat, flat broke, flawed, flimsy, fortuneless, foul,
fourth-class, frugal, fruitless, fulsome, gaudy, ghetto-dwellers,
gimcracky, grave, gross, haggard, half-assed, half-starved,
hapless, hard up, heinous, hollow-eyed, homely, humble,
humble-looking, humble-visaged, humblest, ill, ill off,
ill-equipped, ill-fated, ill-furnished, ill-provided, ill-starred,
impecunious, impecuniousness, impoverished, impoverishment,
in Queer Street, in narrow circumstances, in need, in rags,
in reduced circumstances, in straitened circumstances, in want,
inadept, inadequate, inapt, inattentive, inconclusive,
inconsequential, indigence, indigent, indignant, inefficient,
inept, inexpert, inferior, infertile, infirm, infrequent,
inglorious, innocuous, insignificant, insolvent, insubstantial,
insufficient, irregular, jejune, land-poor, lean, least, limited,
little, lousy, low, low-class, low-down, low-grade, low-quality,
low-test, lowest, lowliest, lowly, luckless, lumpen, mangy,
marantic, marasmic, meager, mean, measly, mediocre, meretricious,
miserable, miserly, modest, moneyless, monstrous, narrow,
necessitous, neediness, needy, nefarious, niggardly, obnoxious,
odious, on short commons, on the edge, opposed, opposing,
out of pocket, outcasts, paltry, parsimonious, pathetic, pauperism,
pauperized, peaked, peaky, pedestrian, penniless, penurious,
penury, petty, piddling, pinched, pitiable, pitiful, plain, poky,
poorish, poorly off, poorness, poverty subculture,
poverty-stricken, privation, punk, puny, rank, rare, reduced,
reptilian, rotten, rotten at, rubbishy, ruined, sad, scabby, scant,
scanty, scarce, scattered, scrawny, scrimp, scrimping, scrimpy,
scrubby, scruffy, scummy, scurvy, scuzzy, second-best,
second-class, second-rate, seedy, seldom met with, seldom seen,
shabby, shoddy, short, short of cash, short of funds,
short of money, shorthanded, shriveled, simple, skeletal,
skill-less, skimp, skimping, skimpy, slender, slight, slim,
slipshod, slum-dwellers, small, sorry, spare, sparing, sparse,
spotty, sprinkled, squalid, squeezed, star-crossed, starvation,
starved, starveling, starving, sterile, stingy, stinted,
stone-broke, stony, straitened, strapped, stunted, subsistence,
substandard, tabetic, tabid, tacky, teachable, the disadvantaged,
the dispossessed, the distressed, the down-and-out,
the forgotten man, the have-nots, the needy, the other America,
the poor, the powerless, the underprivileged, the urban poor, thin,
third-class, third-rate, thoughtless, tight, tinny, trashy,
trifling, trivial, trumpery, turned-off, two-for-a-cent,
two-for-a-penny, twopenny, twopenny-halfpenny, unacceptable,
unappreciative, unapproving, unapt, uncomplimentary, undeft,
under par, underdeveloped nation, underfed, undermanned,
undernourished, underprivileged, undexterous, undextrous,
undistinguished, unfacile, unfavorable, unfed, unfirm, unfortunate,
unfruitful, unhappy, unimportant, unintelligent, unlucky,
unmentionable, unmoneyed, unnourishing, unnutritious,
unpretentious, unproductive, unprofessional, unproficient,
unprosperous, unproved, unprovided, unreplenished, unrigorous,
unsatisfactory, unskillful, unsolid, unsound, unstable, unsturdy,
unsubstantial, unsupplied, unsustained, valueless, vile, want,
wasted, watered, watery, weak, weazeny, welfare rolls, wiped out,
withered, wizened, worthless, wraithlike, wretched
Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary:
The Mosaic legislation regarding the poor is specially
important. (1.) They had the right of gleaning the fields (Lev.
19:9, 10; Deut. 24:19,21).
(2.) In the sabbatical year they were to have their share of
the produce of the fields and the vineyards (Ex. 23:11; Lev.
(3.) In the year of jubilee they recovered their property
(4.) Usury was forbidden, and the pledged raiment was to be
returned before the sun went down (Ex. 22:25-27; Deut.
24:10-13). The rich were to be generous to the poor (Deut.
(5.) In the sabbatical and jubilee years the bond-servant was
to go free (Deut. 15:12-15; Lev. 25:39-42, 47-54).
(6.) Certain portions from the tithes were assigned to the
poor (Deut. 14:28, 29; 26:12, 13).
(7.) They shared in the feasts (Deut. 16:11, 14; Neh. 8:10).
(8.) Wages were to be paid at the close of each day (Lev.
In the New Testament (Luke 3:11; 14:13; Acts 6:1; Gal. 2:10;
James 2:15, 16) we have similar injunctions given with reference
to the poor. Begging was not common under the Old Testament,
while it was so in the New Testament times (Luke 16:20, 21,
etc.). But begging in the case of those who are able to work is
forbidden, and all such are enjoined to "work with their own
hands" as a Christian duty (1 Thess. 4:11; 2 Thess. 3:7-13; Eph.
4:28). This word is used figuratively in Matt. 5:3; Luke 6:20; 2
Cor. 8:9; Rev. 3:17.