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

Women who are marginalized, poor or disabled will, as ever, be the ones to suffer the most. Samantha Leac, Glamour, "Jameela Jamil Calls Her Abortion 'The Best Decision I Have Ever Made'," 14 May 2019 Show or tell us on @tiktok using #TheBacheloretteChallenge! #TheBachelorette A post shared by The Bachelorette (@bacheloretteabc) on May 13, 2019 at 4:24pm PDT And poor Chris Harrison had to clean up after the mess, hilariously. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "What Is a Box King? Unraveling 'Bachelorette' Contestant Joe Barsano's Actual Job," 14 May 2019 The truck was in such poor shape when Duba received it that there was a raccoon waiting for him inside. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Can a Lawnmower Engine Start a Dodge Ram? Sure, Why Not," 14 May 2019 Although the Our Shoes, Our Selves author thinks she's made some poor choices, her plate sounds downright delicious to us! Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Here's What 'Blue Bloods' Star Bridget Moynahan Is Eating During the Family Dinners," 3 May 2019 According to the Mayo Clinic, people who have travelled internationally to countries with poor sanitation or who own birds and reptiles have a higher risk of being infected with salmonella. Sophia Caraballo, Woman's Day, "Everything You Need to Know About Salmonella," 2 May 2019 Things became a little clearer as the episode went on, and fortunately/unfortunately we could all see perfectly clearly when poor Theon, Lyanna and Jorah met their fates. Harper's BAZAAR, "Fans Complained That Game of Thrones Was Too Dark Tonight," 29 Apr. 2019 The last time there was a similar situation, poor Pluto somehow got demoted to a dwarf planet, leading to public outcry, said Williams College astronomer Jay Pasachoff, a star-naming committee member. Seth Borenstein, The Seattle Times, "Picture was clear, but black hole’s name a little fuzzy," 15 Apr. 2019 Two years ago, GiveDirectly, a charity that does cash transfers to the poorest people in the world, did a good job of venturing into disaster relief while staying focused on results. Kelsey Piper, Vox, "Why disaster relief is so hard," 25 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

18 May 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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