poor·​house | \ ˈpu̇r-ˌhau̇s How to pronounce poorhouse (audio) , ˈpȯr- \

Definition of poorhouse

: a place maintained at public expense to house needy or dependent persons

Examples of poorhouse in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web His own father had grown up in Newburgh’s poorhouse. Zach Helfand, The New Yorker, 6 June 2022 Her career lasted only a decade, but Paula Modersohn-Becker (1876-1907) painted more than 500 canvases, including moody landscapes, wry self-portraits and careful studies of children, old people and the residents of a local poorhouse. Amy Crawford, Smithsonian Magazine, 19 Nov. 2021 Your bottom dollar puts you in the poorhouse, but a pretty penny buys you a mansion. Casey Cep, The New Yorker, 28 July 2021 Laguna Honda, as the poorhouse became known, was a place for city residents who were old, impoverished, mentally ill, and disabled. Jay Caspian Kang, The New Yorker, 4 Jan. 2021 In 1866, the fledgling city of San Francisco decided to build a four-story poorhouse for unlucky gold rushers. Jay Caspian Kang, The New Yorker, 4 Jan. 2021 People who were forced by debt to live in the poorhouse had to subsist on six and half pounds a year, paid from parish taxes. Louis Menand, The New Yorker, 28 Sep. 2020 On the other hand, a medical emergency could put you in the poorhouse. Kathleen Pender, SFChronicle.com, 15 Feb. 2020 Don’t evacuate the penthouse and condemn its residents to the poorhouse. Deroy Murdock, National Review, 24 Jan. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of poorhouse

circa 1579, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for poorhouse

Time Traveler

The first known use of poorhouse was circa 1579

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Dictionary Entries Near poorhouse

poor farm



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Statistics for poorhouse

Last Updated

22 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Poorhouse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poorhouse. Accessed 24 Jun. 2022.

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