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 pauperism (audio) \ noun

Examples of pauper in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web School officials believe the graves are part of the historic Ridgewood Cemetery, a forgotten one-acre paupers' burial ground used to primarily inter African Americans. Sarah Jackson, NBC News, "Radar scans locate 145 graves on Florida high school campus," 21 Nov. 2019 Mexican law made princes of many who might have been paupers in the United States. H.w. Brands, Smithsonian, "When Mexico’s Immigration Troubles Came From Americans Crossing the Border," 22 Oct. 2019 On the floor of the waiting room were hundreds more desperate, emaciated paupers. James Wood, The New Yorker, "A Neglected Modern Masterpiece and Its Perverse Hero," 14 Oct. 2019 For the new study, published in Proceedings of Royal Society B, the researchers travelled to Floreana Island, where the medium tree finch (Camarhynchus pauper) is critically endangered, largely due to the blood-sucking larval parasites. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Parasites Are Ruining the Lovesongs of Darwin’s Finches," 13 June 2019 Judge over his still young career has hit like a prince at home, .322 with 60 home runs, and a pauper on the road, .224 with 35 home runs. Michael Powell, New York Times, "As Wins Pile Up, Mets and Their Fans Soak in the Moment," 10 Aug. 2019 In Colonial times lobster meat was fed to pigs and goats and eaten only by paupers. Joanne Kempinger Demski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Lobster Fest indulges shellfish lovers for 3 days, while local restaurants feed the craving all year," 7 Aug. 2019 Despite his business failure, the Russian was no pauper. Max Colchester And Margot Patrick, WSJ, "Hiding Russian Money Was Easy. Quitting Was Harder.," 4 Aug. 2018 Here are few things to check out to continue your Magic education: 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," 19 Feb. 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.

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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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Time Traveler for pauper

Time Traveler

The first known use of pauper was in 1516

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Statistics for pauper

Last Updated

2 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Pauper.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 5 December 2019.

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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

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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

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