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>
Examples of destitute in a sentence
His business failures left him destitute.
<many families were left destitute by the horrible fire>
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.
Origin and Etymology of destitute
Middle English, from Latin destitutus, past participle of destituere to abandon, deprive, from de- + statuere to set up — more at statute
First Known Use: 14th century
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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