beg·​gar-thy-neigh·​bor ˈbe-gər-ˌṯẖī-ˈnā-bər How to pronounce beggar-thy-neighbor (audio)
: relating to or being an action or policy that produces gains for one group at the expense of another
followed beggar-thy-neighbor policies in imposing taxes

Examples of beggar-thy-neighbor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Nationalist policies that maximize one state’s interests at the expense of others—beggar-thy-neighbor policies—are a poor way to resolve global problems. William Nordhaus, Foreign Affairs, 12 Oct. 2021 Tax abatement programs have long been controversial, pitting states and communities against one another in beggar-thy-neighbor contests. Christine Wen, The Conversation, 15 Feb. 2024 The administration then almost immediately invoked the Defense Production Act and mimicked Brussels’s beggar-thy-neighbor policy by limiting American exports of respirators and masks, too. Chad P. Bown, Foreign Affairs, 28 Apr. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'beggar-thy-neighbor.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1945, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of beggar-thy-neighbor was in 1945

Dictionary Entries Near beggar-thy-neighbor

Cite this Entry

“Beggar-thy-neighbor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jul. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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