poor law


Definition of poor law

: a law providing for or regulating the public relief or support of the poor

Examples of poor law in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Compare this to the Britannica’s article on poor law, still in force then and painstakingly described over a number of pages. Marilynne Robinson, Harper’s Magazine , 20 July 2022 Get our daily newsletter Breeding tigers and trading them and their parts is banned by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, but this treaty is widely flouted in Asia because of poor law-enforcement and high demand for tigers. The Economist, 28 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'poor law.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of poor law

1725, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About poor law

Time Traveler for poor law

Time Traveler

The first known use of poor law was in 1725

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near poor law


poor law


See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for poor law

Last Updated

26 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Poor law.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poor%20law. Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on poor law

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about poor law


Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!