Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

Thesaurus

poor

adjective

Synonyms and Antonyms of poor

  1. 1 lacking money or material possessions <every year, we make up a basket of food at Thanksgiving for a poor family in the neighborhood> Synonyms beggared, beggarly, broke, destitute, dirt-poor, down-and-out, famished, hard up, impecunious, impoverished, indigent, necessitous, needful, needy, pauperized, penniless, penurious, poverty-stricken, skint [chiefly British], threadbare Related Words deprived, disadvantaged, dispossessed, unaffluent, underprivileged; bankrupt, bankrupted, bust (or busted), insolvent; possessionless, ruined; depressed, distressed, hand-to-mouth, hardscrabble, pinched, poorish, reduced, straitened; cash-strapped, low, short, tapped out Phrases down on one's luck, out at elbows (or out at the elbows), out of pocket Near Antonyms comfortable, prosperous Antonyms affluent, deep-pocketed, fat, fat-cat, flush, moneyed (also monied), opulent, rich, silk-stocking, wealthy, well-heeled, well-off, well-to-do

  2. 2 producing inferior or only a small amount of vegetation <land that is too poor for farming> Synonyms bony (also boney), dead, desolate, hardscrabble, impoverished, infertile, barren, stark, unfertile, unproductive, wasteRelated Words bleak, inhospitable, lifeless; uncultivable, untillable; bankrupted, consumed, debilitated, depleted, diminished, drained, dried-up, enfeebled, exhausted, expended, lessened, reduced, spent, used up; arid, desert, droughty, dry, rainless, sere (also sear), thirsty, waterless; baked, dehydrated, parched, sunbakedNear Antonyms arable, tillable; green, sylvan, verdantAntonyms fertile, fruitful, lush, luxuriant, productive, rich

  3. 3 less plentiful than what is normal, necessary, or desirable <a poor crop because of the drought this year> Synonyms exiguous, hand-to-mouth, light, niggardly, meager, scant, scanty, scarce, skimp, skimpy, slender, slim, spare, sparing, sparse, stingyRelated Words deficient, inadequate, insufficient, lacking, short, wanting; bare, bare-bones; least, littlest, lowest, mere, minimal, slightest; slight, small, thin; barren, infertile, sterile, unfruitful, unproductiveNear Antonyms adequate, enough, satisfactory, sufficient, tolerable; fat, fecund, fertile, fruitful, prolific, rich; lavish, luxuriant; blooming, bursting, flourishing, proliferative, swarming, teeming, thriving; excess, extra, surplusAntonyms abundant, ample, bountiful, copious, generous, liberal, plenteous, plentiful

  4. 4 falling short of a standard <a pretty poor musician, even for a garage band> Synonyms bastard, bush, bush-league, crummy (also crumby), deficient, dissatisfactory, ill, inferior, lame, lousy, off, paltry, bad, punk, sour, suboptimal, subpar, substandard, unacceptable, unsatisfactory, wack [slang], wanting, wretched, wrongRelated Words abysmal, atrocious, awful, bitchin' [slang], brutal, damnable, deplorable, detestable, disastrous, dreadful, execrable, gnarly [slang], horrendous, horrible, pathetic, stinky, sucky [slang], terrible, unspeakable; defective, faulty, flawed; egregious, flagrant, gross; bum, cheesy, coarse, common, crappy [slang], cut-rate, junky, lesser, low-grade, low-rent, mediocre, miserable, reprehensible, rotten, rubbishy, second-rate, shoddy, sleazy, trashy; abominable, odious, vile; useless, valueless, worthless; inadequate, insufficient, lacking, meager (or meagre), mean, miserly, niggardly, scanty, shabby, short, skimp, skimpy, spare, stingy; miscreant, scurrilous, villainous; counterfeit, fake, phony (also phoney), shamNear Antonyms classic, classical; A1, bang-up, banner, boss [slang], capital, choice, crackerjack, dandy, divine, excellent, exceptional, fabulous, fine, first-class, first-rate, grand, great, groovy, heavenly, high-test, jim-dandy, keen, marvelous (or marvellous), mean, neat, nifty, noble, par excellence, perfect, premium, prime, sensational, slick, splendid, stellar, sterling, superb, superior, superlative, supernal, swell, terrific, tip-top, top, top-notch, unsurpassed, wonderful; better, exceptional, fancy, high-grade, special, sufficient; average, borderline, fair, mediocre, middling, minimal, so-so, unexceptional; suitable, useful, worthy; gratifying, satisfyingAntonyms acceptable, adequate, all right, decent, fine, OK (or okay), passable, respectable, satisfactory, standard, tolerable

  5. 5 of low quality <the poor workmanship of the goods from that country> Synonyms bad, bargain-basement, bum, cheapjack, cheesy, coarse, common, crappy [slang], cut-rate, el cheapo, execrable, gimcrack, inferior, junky, lousy, low-grade, low-rent, mediocre, miserable, cheap, rotten, rubbishy, schlock (or schlocky also shlock or shlocky), second-rate, shoddy, sleazy, terrible, trashy, trumpery, wretchedRelated Words useless, valueless, worthless; indifferent, lackluster, second-class; brummagem, flashy, garish, gaudy, glitzy, kitsch, kitschy, meretricious, ostentatious, showy, splashy, swank (or swanky), tawdry; seedy, shabby, tacky; counterfeit, fake, phony (also phoney), sham; supercheap, ultracheapNear Antonyms elegant, handsome, tasteful; handcrafted, polished, refinedAntonyms excellent, fine, first-class, first-rate, good, high-grade, superior, top-notch

  6. 6 deserving of one's pity <aw, the poor kitten hurt its paw> Synonyms heartbreaking, heartrending, miserable, piteous, pitiable, pitiful, pathetic, rueful, sorry, wretchedRelated Words deplorable, lamentable, regrettable; emotional, impressive, inspiring; affecting, moving, poignant, stirring, touching; awful, horrible, terrible; distressing, disturbing, upsetting; grievous, mournful, sad, sorrowful, woefulNear Antonyms unimpressive, uninspiring




Learn More about poor


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up poor? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to proceed clumsily or ineffectually

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

lavender-fields-in-france

Which of these is a synonym of caesura?

megillah rebellion interruption torrent
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ