pau·​per | \ ˈpȯ-pər \

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

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Other Words from pauper

pauperism \ ˈpȯ-​pə-​ˌri-​zəm \ noun

Examples of pauper in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Christina Scates quest to unlock the mystery led authorities to exhume a body in an unmarked pauper’s grave in a Cleveland Potter’s Field, WEWS-TV reported Thursday. Robert Gearty, Fox News, "College student helps authorities link remains to Ohio teen who disappeared in 1974," 21 July 2018 The point is to keep prices artificially high and enrich large sugar producers, who aren’t paupers but nonetheless demand this help to maintain their station. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "A Chance for Sugar Welfare Reform," 15 May 2018 In Renaissance Europe towns such as Ypres collected alms to pay for ways of putting paupers to work. The Economist, "The welfare state needs updating," 12 July 2018 Tenor Scott Brunscheen is the prince in pauper's clothing that the queen and every woman in her court desires. Deanna Isaacs, Chicago Reader, "Arts / Opera / Performing Arts Haymarket Opera's L'Orontea is a time machine to the 17th century," 5 June 2018 The president is far from a pauper: The new estimate compiled by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index puts Trump's worth at $2.8 billion. William Cummings, USA TODAY, "Trump's net worth declined for the second year in a row, Bloomberg reports," 31 May 2018 Schools for indigents and paupers were supported, here and there, and more or less spasmodically. Danielle Jackson, Longreads, "Why Beyoncé Placed HBCU’s at the Center of American Life," 7 May 2018 His body was dug up the next night from his shallow pauper's grave by local doctors and medical students and dissected, The Enquirer wrote. Mark Curnutte,, "Confederate anger, geography led to 8 lynchings in Boone County in 1870s and 1880s," 30 Apr. 2018 Brzyski was buried in a pauper's grave in Arlington in October. CBS News, "Investigation reveals secret life of pedophile priest James Brzyski," 6 Feb. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of pauper

1516, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pauper

Latin, poor — more at poor

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Dictionary Entries near pauper

paunch mat







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Time Traveler for pauper

The first known use of pauper was in 1516

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More Definitions for pauper



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 \

Kids Definition of pauper

: a very poor person


pau·​per | \ ˈpȯ-pər \

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on pauper

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pauper

Spanish Central: Translation of pauper

Nglish: Translation of pauper for Spanish Speakers

Comments on pauper

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excited commotion or publicity

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