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

The company shelved the listing, citing poor market conditions as the primary reason. Alex Nicoll, Fortune, "Why the King of Beers Just Had to Downsize its Big Asian IPO," 17 Sep. 2019 Studies have shown that food insufficiency is associated with a higher prevalence of poor health conditions. baltimoresun.com, "Letters: Busing isn’t the answer to Howard schools’ disparity problem; and more from readers," 17 Sep. 2019 The bridge, which was built in 1975, has a deck that’s in poor condition. John Benson, cleveland.com, "Construction continues in Fairview Park with second phase of Mastick Road repaving project," 16 Sep. 2019 But, once again, Monaco paid the price for some poor defending and lost 4-3. SI.com, "7 Things You May Have Missed From Around Europe as Neymar Scores & Ansu Fati Stars," 16 Sep. 2019 Europeans also build fences and keep migrants housed in poor conditions Like Mr. Trump, European governments have also sought to curb migration by building physical barriers along their borders. New York Times, "Is Trump’s America Tougher on Asylum Than Other Western Countries?," 14 Sep. 2019 But little has penetrated the industry’s operations, and as a workforce that cuts across class from the one percent to the working-poor, models remain atomized. Isabel Cristo, The New Republic, "Fashion Week’s Labor Problem Is Our Labor Problem," 11 Sep. 2019 Atmospheric vacuum breaker at mop sink in poor condition. Ebony Day, azcentral, "Moldy cheese among violations found during restaurant inspections," 4 Sep. 2019 And Los Olvidados joins the cartel in exchange for money that is to be donated to the poor. Rosy Cordero, EW.com, "Everything to remember from Mayans M.C. before its season 2 premiere," 3 Sep. 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

5 Oct 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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