poverty

play
noun, often attributive pov·er·ty \ˈpä-vər-tē\

Definition of poverty

  1. 1a :  the state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessionsb :  renunciation as a member of a religious order of the right as an individual to own property

  2. 2 :  scarcity, dearth

  3. 3a :  debility due to malnutritionb :  lack of fertility

Examples of poverty in a sentence

  1. He was born in poverty.

  2. There is a poverty of information about the disease.

Origin and Etymology of poverty

Middle English poverte, from Anglo-French poverté, from Latin paupertat-, paupertas, from pauper poor — more at poor


First Known Use: 12th century

Synonym Discussion of poverty

poverty, indigence, penury, want, destitution mean the state of one with insufficient resources. poverty may cover a range from extreme want of necessities to an absence of material comforts <the extreme poverty of the slum dwellers>. indigence implies seriously straitened circumstances <the indigence of her years as a graduate student>. penury suggests a cramping or oppressive lack of money <a catastrophic illness that condemned them to years of penury>. want and destitution imply extreme poverty that threatens life itself through starvation or exposure <lived in a perpetual state of want> <the widespread destitution in countries beset by famine>.


POVERTY Defined for English Language Learners

poverty

play
noun, often attributive pov·er·ty \ˈpä-vər-tē\

Definition of poverty for English Language Learners

  • : the state of being poor

  • : a lack of something


POVERTY Defined for Kids

poverty

play
noun pov·er·ty \ˈpä-vər-tē\

Definition of poverty for Students

  1. :  the condition of being poor :  lack of money or possessions


Medical Dictionary

poverty

play
noun pov·er·ty \ˈpäv-ərt-ē\

Medical Definition of poverty

plural

poverties

  1. :  debility due to malnutrition <evidence of poverty in calves>



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