\ ˈpu̇r How to pronounce poor (audio) , ˈpȯr How to pronounce poor (audio) \

Definition of poor

1a : lacking material possessions
b : of, relating to, or characterized by poverty
2a : less than adequate : meager
b : small in worth
3 : exciting pity you poor thing
4a : inferior in quality or value
c : mean, petty
6 : barren, unproductive used of land
8 : lacking a normal or adequate supply of something specified often used in combinationoil-poor countries

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Other Words from poor

poorish \ ˈpu̇r-​ish How to pronounce poorish (audio) , ˈpȯr-​ \ adjective
poorness noun

Examples of poor in a Sentence

We were too poor to buy new clothes. The organization helps poor families. She has a poor vocabulary. It was a poor attempt at a joke. He is in poor condition. She couldn't read the sign because her vision was too poor.
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Recent Examples on the Web His technique was poor and his work ethic questionable. David Moore, Dallas News, "Cowboys evaluations: Leighton Vander Esch and Chidobe Awuzie are among the players trending in the wrong direction," 6 Jan. 2020 History sheds a light on why these areas are more polluted, poorer and primarily home to minorities. Erin Stone, azcentral, "Winter air really is worse in south, west Phoenix. Here's why," 31 Dec. 2019 Aaron Berkowitz, a neurologist specializing in treating stroke in poor countries, wants to turn that conventional wisdom on its head. Oliver Staley, Quartz, "Aspirin can help stem the tide of stroke. Why aren’t more doctors prescribing it?," 30 Dec. 2019 Unfortunately, staring out a window is a poor substitute for walking out the door. CBS News, "On the Road: A year to remember with Steve Hartman," 26 Dec. 2019 Hospitals, and especially accident and emergency departments, end up as literal and figurative Band-Aids for those who are struggling, poor substitutes for the robust community resources that could preempt such problems in the first place. Grace Hatton, STAT, "Lost, and sometimes found, in the emergency department at Christmas," 24 Dec. 2019 The role of climate change in poor countries where the health system is not robust is very big. Fortune, "Your Social Network Isn’t Diverse Enough," 19 Dec. 2019 In the end, negotiators endorsed a general call for greater efforts to tackle climate change and several measures to help poor countries respond and adapt to its impacts. Greg Norman | Fox News, Fox News, "Brazil's environment minister trolls climate activists with image of massive meat platter," 18 Dec. 2019 The battle over carbon markets divided the conference even after participants reach agreement on other thorny issues like next steps on a mechanism to help poor countries. Jean Chemnick, Scientific American, "U.N. Climate Talks Limp to a Disappointing Close," 16 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'poor.' 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 poor

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for poor

Middle English poure, from Anglo-French povre, pore, from Latin pauper; akin to Latin paucus little and to Latin parere to give birth to, produce — more at few, pare

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Time Traveler for poor

Time Traveler

The first known use of poor was in the 13th century

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Statistics for poor

Last Updated

12 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Poor.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poor. Accessed 21 January 2020.

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More Definitions for poor

How to pronounce poor (audio) How to pronounce poor (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of poor

: having little money or few possessions : not having enough money for the basic things that people need to live properly
: having a very small amount of something
: not good in quality or condition
\ ˈpu̇r How to pronounce poor (audio) \
poorer; poorest

Kids Definition of poor

1 : having little money or few possessions
2 : less than enough a poor crop
3 : worthy of pity The poor dog was lost.
4 : low in quality or condition poor health a poor effort

Other Words from poor

poorly adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on poor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for poor

Spanish Central: Translation of poor

Nglish: Translation of poor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of poor for Arabic Speakers

Comments on poor

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


good-natured easy friendliness

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