\ 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 poor (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 Despite disapproval and setbacks, Alice continues to bring books to the poor and uneducated. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "The Fast Forward 2020 Winter Bookies reading list," 4 Jan. 2021 And the special teams were so poor in 2020, Lynn cycled through coordinators before deciding to coach the unit himself. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "Ranking NFL's six open head coaching jobs in 2021 from worst to first," 4 Jan. 2021 And the special teams were so poor in 2020, Lynn cycled through coordinators before deciding to coach the unit himself. Nate Davis, Detroit Free Press, "Ranking Detroit Lions' head coach job among 6 NFL openings in 2021: Worst to first," 4 Jan. 2021 The Justice Department won’t bring federal criminal charges against two Cleveland police officers in the 2014 killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, saying the quality of the video was too poor for prosecutors to conclusively establish what happened. Los Angeles Times, "Today’s Headlines: The $2,000 question," 30 Dec. 2020 Another theory is that churches put out boxes for people to give money to the poor, and the money was distributed the day after Christmas. Kendall Trammell, CNN, "The Boxing Day questions you've probably Googled," 26 Dec. 2020 Rather, this day acquired its name during Queen Victoria’s reign, when the rich would box up food and Christmas gifts to give to the poor. Richard Lederer, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Celebrate the 12 days of Christmas knowledgeably," 26 Dec. 2020 In the 1980s, Pratt led the then-Philanthropy Project, a research organization that questioned why foundations weren't giving more to the poor. Kelly Smith, Star Tribune, "'Godfather' of Minnesota's nonprofit movement steps down," 25 Dec. 2020 As much as family gatherings for festive dinners and opening gifts are annual Christmas rites, so is feeding and giving gifts to the poor, with churches and charitable organizations offering care to masses of needy strangers. Washington Post, "On a covid Christmas, a new routine for feeding the homeless," 25 Dec. 2020

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 2021

Cite this Entry

“Poor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poor. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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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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Comments on poor

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