poor

adjective
\ 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 combination oil-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

This always and only means cuts in the share of public wealth afforded to workers and the poor, in wages and in the dole. Marilynne Robinson, Harper's magazine, "Is Poverty Necessary?," 10 June 2019 What if Tori got up to check on her husband — or poor, terrified-looking Celeste — and happened to see Bonnie Carlson (Zoë Kravitz) push Perry Wright (Alexander Skarsgård) down the stairs instead? Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, "Here's Why Madeline Should Be Worried After That Big Little Lies Season 2 Premiere," 10 June 2019 The district cited a variety of reasons for closing the schools, including poor academic performance and problems with special education compliance. Talia Richman, baltimoresun.com, "One of Baltimore's most sought-after schools wants to open a second location. Will the school board OK it?," 10 June 2019 In India, the jobless are often not the poorest, who cannot afford not to work, but the newly educated, qualified for better jobs that have yet to arrive. The Economist, "In its second term, will India’s ruling coalition be bolder about reform?," 8 June 2019 And indigenous people are more likely to be poor, incarcerated, die young and commit suicide. Annabelle Timsit, Quartz, "Canada begins reconciliation process after inquiry into missing or murdered indigenous women ends," 7 June 2019 With Whitley hurt and starter Corbin Martin sent down because of his poor performance in the majors this season, pitching depth in the farm system is being tested. Hunter Atkins, Houston Chronicle, "Astros prospect Forrest Whitley prepares to resume throwing," 7 June 2019 The Ohio legislature is poised to soften its toughest rule against poor academic performance of charter schools: the threat of automatic closure. Patrick O'donnell, cleveland.com, "Ohio charter school closure laws could be weakened," 5 June 2019 Around 3,000 students attend schools in the local district; 83% of them are poor. USA Today, "'Can't pay their bills with love': For many teaching jobs, teachers' pay can't cover rent," 5 June 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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Statistics for poor

Last Updated

15 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for poor

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

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More Definitions for poor

poor

adjective

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

poor

adjective
\ 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

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