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adjective mea·ger \ˈmē-gər\

Simple Definition of meager

  • : very small or too small in amount

  • : not having enough of something (such as money or food) for comfort or happiness

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of meager

  1. 1 :  having little flesh :  thin

  2. 2 a :  lacking desirable qualities (as richness or strength) <leading a meager life> b :  deficient in quality or quantity <a meager diet>

meagerly adverb
meagerness noun

Examples of meager in a sentence

  1. Every morning he eats a meager breakfast of toast and coffee.

  2. We'll have to do the best we can with this year's meager harvest.

  3. She came to this country with a fairly meager English vocabulary, but she is learning more words every day.

  4. They suffered through several meager years at the beginning of their marriage.

  5. Although she's now rich and famous, she remembers her meager beginnings as a child from a poor family.

Variants of meager

or meagre play \ˈmē-gər\

Origin of meager

Middle English megre, from Anglo-French megre, meigre, from Latin macr-, macer lean; akin to Old English mæger lean, Greek makros long

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of meager

meager, scanty, scant, skimpy, spare, sparse mean falling short of what is normal, necessary, or desirable. meager implies the absence of elements, qualities, or numbers necessary to a thing's richness, substance, or potency <a meager portion of meat>. scanty stresses insufficiency in amount, quantity, or extent <supplies too scanty to last the winter>. scant suggests a falling short of what is desired or desirable rather than of what is essential <in January the daylight hours are scant>. skimpy usually suggests niggardliness or penury as the cause of the deficiency <tacky housing developments on skimpy lots>. spare may suggest a slight falling short of adequacy or merely an absence of superfluity <a spare, concise style of writing>. sparse implies a thin scattering of units <a sparse population>.

Rhymes with meager

MEAGER Defined for Kids


adjective mea·ger \ˈmē-gər\

Definition of meager for Students

  1. 1 :  not enough in quality or amount <a meager income>

  2. 2 :  having little flesh :  thin

Variants of meager

or meagre \ˈmē-gər\

Seen and Heard

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the range of perception or understanding

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