Definition of destitute
1 : lacking something needed or desirable a lake destitute of fish
2 : lacking possessions and resources; especially : suffering extreme poverty a destitute old man
destitute was our Word of the Day on 05/24/2009. Hear the podcast!
Examples of destitute in a Sentence
His business failures left him destitute.
many families were left destitute by the horrible fire
Recent Examples of destitute from the Web
Black people, who have a little money, but not a lot, but aren't destitute on the street and who've grown up with all sorts of people.
The term appears to have first been used in mainstream media in 2014 by Feargus O'Sullivan of The Atlantic, in an article about a tower in once-destitute East London that had been redeveloped for high-paying tenants.
The mod, created by Steam user Snakeeater337 and which requires the Brave New World expansion pack, adds the destitute Arstotzka to the world of Civilization V as a playable country.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'destitute'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
You may be surprised to learn that "destitute" is related to words like "statue," "statute," and even "statistics." The Latin word status, meaning "position" or "state," is the source of these and other English words. Some terms of this family are directly related to "status," while others come to English through "statuere," a Latin derivative of "status" that means "to set up." "Destitute" came from "destituere" ("to abandon" or "to deprive"), a joining of "statuere" and the prefix de- ("from, down, away"). "Statuere" also gave us "constitute," "institute," and "restitution," among other similar-sounding words.
DESTITUTE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of destitute for English Language Learners
: extremely poor
: without something that is needed or wanted
DESTITUTE Defined for Kids
Definition of destitute for Students
1 : lacking something needed or desirable The room was destitute of comforts.
2 : very poor The charity helps destitute people.
Seen and Heard
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