destitution

noun des·ti·tu·tion \ ˌdes-tə-ˈtü-shən , -ˈtyü- \
Updated on: 10 Nov 2017

Definition of destitution

: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.

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

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

Definition of destitution for Students

:the condition of being very poor


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