pau·​per | \ ˈpȯ-pər How to pronounce pauper (audio) \

Definition of pauper

1 : a person destitute of means except such as are derived from charity specifically : one who receives aid from funds designated for the poor paupers on welfare
2 : a very poor person you'll end up a pauper on skid row— Robert Bixby

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from pauper

pauperism \ ˈpȯ-​pə-​ˌri-​zəm How to pronounce pauperism (audio) \ noun

Examples of pauper in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Explore Magic's varying formats, which include standard, modern, vintage, legacy, pauper, commander, and many, many more. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "How to Play 'Magic: The Gathering': Everything You Need to Know," 11 Aug. 2020 In theory, the pathogen infects princes and paupers alike, but working-class and immigrant communities like the one in Queens have been especially hard hit, exposing the deep inequities in American society and its health care system. New York Times, "Coronavirus Live Updates: Worldwide Toll of Confirmed Virus Deaths Nears 100,000," 10 Apr. 2020 Our whole idea is that God is coming among us, that God has taken up residence not as a prince, but as a pauper. Garrett M. Graff, Wired, "'Here in Spirit': An Oral History of Faith Amid the Pandemic," 10 Apr. 2020 Your Royal Highness rolling papers (£2 per pack): Puff, puff, pass, pauper! Emily Flake, The New Yorker, "Introducing Meghan and Harry’s Etsy Shop," 15 Jan. 2020 Later, these caves housed the bones of plague victims and paupers. Rick Steves, USA TODAY, "Lesser-known bones: Rick Steves' guide to Europe’s most offbeat crypts and cemeteries," 13 Nov. 2019 According to the newspaper, the allowance made for burying paupers was less than $3 each. Emma Austin, The Courier-Journal, "New documentary explores malpractice, overcrowding at Louisville's Eastern Cemetery," 3 Mar. 2020 Ridgewood Cemetery was designated as a pauper’s cemetery by the city of Tampa in the early 1940s. Washington Post, "Lost lives, fresh heartache as a black cemetery is found buried under a high school," 25 Nov. 2019 School officials believe the caskets are part of Ridgewood Cemetery, a historic paupers' burial ground from the early 1940s that was owned by the city, according to the Florida Genealogical Society. Nicole Chavez, CNN, "145 graves from a historic cemetery were discovered at a Tampa high school," 20 Nov. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of pauper

1516, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pauper

Latin, poor — more at poor

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pauper

Time Traveler for pauper

Time Traveler

The first known use of pauper was in 1516

See more words from the same year

Statistics for pauper

Last Updated

15 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pauper.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pauper


How to pronounce pauper (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pauper

old-fashioned : a very poor person who has no money to pay for food, clothing, etc.


pau·​per | \ ˈpȯ-pər How to pronounce pauper (audio) \

Kids Definition of pauper

: a very poor person


pau·​per | \ ˈpȯ-pər How to pronounce pauper (audio) \

Legal Definition of pauper

: a person who is destitute and relying on charity specifically : a person who is relieved of the costs and expenses of a court proceeding because of poverty

More from Merriam-Webster on pauper

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pauper

Nglish: Translation of pauper for Spanish Speakers

Comments on pauper

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three bears two of them look like theyre whispering to a third bear who looks chuffed to be the center of attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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