destitution

play
noun des·ti·tu·tion \ˌdes-tə-ˈtü-shən, -ˈtyü-\

Definition of destitution

  1. :  the state of being destitute; especially :  such extreme want as threatens life unless relieved

Examples of destitution in a Sentence

  1. widespread destitution in Third World countries

Recent Examples of destitution from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'destitution'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

15th Century

First Known Use of destitution

15th century

Synonym Discussion of destitution

poverty, indigence, penury, want, destitution mean the state of one with insufficient resources. poverty may cover a range from extreme want of necessities to an absence of material comforts. the extreme poverty of the slum dwellers indigence implies seriously straitened circumstances. the indigence of her years as a graduate student penury suggests a cramping or oppressive lack of money. a catastrophic illness that condemned them to years of penury want and destitution imply extreme poverty that threatens life itself through starvation or exposure. lived in a perpetual state of want the widespread destitution in countries beset by famine

DESTITUTION Defined for Kids

destitution

play
noun des·ti·tu·tion \ˌde-stə-ˈtü-shən, -ˈtyü-\

Definition of destitution for Students

  1. :  the condition of being very poor



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to glide in or as if in an airplane

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • istock-refers-to-this-as-a-tumble-of-strawberries-which-sounded-pretty-nice-to-us
  • Which is a synonym of garner?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!