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

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Other Words from pauper

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

Examples of pauper in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The cricketing hero was laid to rest in the pauper's section. Ben Westcott, CNN, "Australia's first international cricket team found fame in the UK. At home, they were betrayed," 4 Apr. 2021 Just before her killing, Martínez had begun visiting pauper cemeteries in Veracruz to compare the number of bodies buried to official death records. Washington Post, "A murder in Veracruz: Slain journalist’s story a portrait of a violent, corrupt era in Mexico," 6 Dec. 2020 If the ashes are not picked up, the county buries them together in a single pauper’s grave. Julia Wick, Los Angeles Times, "As COVID-19 restrictions keep public away, Los Angeles mourns unclaimed dead in annual event," 3 Dec. 2020 Within a year, Rembrandt was dead, a pauper assigned an anonymous grave. Washington Post, "Rembrandt’s own mortality — seen in another artist’s face," 2 Dec. 2020 The family was so poor she was buried in a pauper’s grave. Claudine Doury, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Redemption of Rosa Bonheur," 20 Oct. 2020 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

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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Statistics for pauper

Last Updated

6 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pauper.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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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 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

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