1. [syn: poverty, poorness, impoverishment]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Poverty \Pov"er*ty\ (p[o^]v"[~e]r*t[y^]), n. [OE. poverte, OF.
povert['e], F. pauvret['e], fr. L. paupertas, fr. pauper
poor. See Poor.]
1. The quality or state of being poor or indigent; want or
scarcity of means of subsistence; indigence; need.
"Swathed in numblest poverty." --Keble.
The drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty.
2. Any deficiency of elements or resources that are needed or
desired, or that constitute richness; as, poverty of soil;
poverty of the blood; poverty of ideas.
Poverty grass (Bot.), a name given to several slender
grasses (as Aristida dichotoma, and Danthonia spicata)
which often spring up on old and worn-out fields.
Syn: Indigence; penury; beggary; need; lack; want;
scantiness; sparingness; meagerness; jejuneness.
Usage: Poverty, Indigence, Pauperism. Poverty is a
relative term; what is poverty to a monarch, would be
competence for a day laborer. Indigence implies
extreme distress, and almost absolute destitution.
Pauperism denotes entire dependence upon public
charity, and, therefore, often a hopeless and degraded
[1913 Webster] Powan
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: the state of having little or no money and few or no
material possessions [syn: poverty, poorness,
impoverishment] [ant: wealth, wealthiness]
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
44 Moby Thesaurus words for "poverty":
beggary, dearth, destitution, difficulty, distress, embarrassment,
exigency, hand-to-mouth existence, hardship, impecuniousness,
impoverishment, inadequacy, indigence, insolvency, insufficiency,
juncture, lack, mendicancy, necessity, need, neediness, pass,
paucity, pauperism, pennilessness, penury, pinch, poorness,
privation, rareness, rarity, scant, scant sufficiency, scantiness,
scarceness, scarcity, shortage, sparseness, sparsity, strait,
suffering, uncommonness, unprosperousness, want
The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906):
POVERTY, n. A file provided for the teeth of the rats of reform. The
number of plans for its abolition equals that of the reformers who
suffer from it, plus that of the philosophers who know nothing about
it. Its victims are distinguished by possession of all the virtues
and by their faith in leaders seeking to conduct them into a
prosperity where they believe these to be unknown.