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

There is a misconception circulating that advantages bought by the rich result in spots being stolen from the poor. Hafeez Lakhani, WSJ, "College Coaching Doesn’t Hurt the Poor," 20 Mar. 2019 These revolutionaries saw it as a time for Mexico to reward the people who worked the land, not the other way around: a war for the mestizos; a war for the indigenous; and a war for the poor. Teen Vogue, "The Real History of Las Soldaderas, the Women Who Made the Mexican Revolution Possible," 12 Mar. 2019 The pomp and polished marble of the U.S. Capitol might seem a world away from Michigan’s 13th Congressional District, one of the poorest in the nation. Eslah Attar, Glamour, "Rashida Tlaib Is Determined to Change Congress," 13 Dec. 2018 Over the centuries, records describe epidemics of a nearly identical illness, usually on the heels of war or famine, with isolated cases popping up between times among the poor. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Ancient DNA reveals the secrets of a devastating European disease," 26 Sep. 2018 But schools that serve poor, immigrant and working-class populations don’t have the luxury of assuming that paying for college isn’t a major issue for their students’ parents. Caitlin Macy, WSJ, "AP Tests Are Still a Great American Equalizer," 22 Feb. 2019 All the elements are there: political mayhem, the extreme gap between rich and poor, seriously violent riots in the street. Vogue, "Vogue Runway’s Critics Weigh In on the Fall 2019 Menswear Collections—And the Seismic Shifts Changing the Business," 22 Jan. 2019 No matter rich or poor, everyone uses aji panca and aji amarillo. Ilaf Esuf, SELF, "How 10 People Cook the Foods They Grew Up With After Immigrating to the United States," 4 Jan. 2019 Think about women from different parts of the world, trans women, poor women, black women, women in prisons, women in shelters, women all over the world, women and girls in refugee camps. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "Let the Poet Warsan Shire Tell You About the "Bravest Girl in the World"," 8 Mar. 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

20 Apr 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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