Synonyms & Antonyms of destitution

the state of lacking sufficient money or material possessions
  • widespread destitution in Third World countries

Synonyms for destitution

Words Related to destitution

Near Antonyms for destitution

Antonyms for destitution

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About destitution

How is the word destitution distinct from other similar nouns?

Some common synonyms of destitution are indigence, penury, poverty, and want. While all these words mean "the state of one with insufficient resources," 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

When might indigence be a better fit than destitution?

While the synonyms indigence and destitution are close in meaning, indigence implies seriously straitened circumstances.

the indigence of her years as a graduate student

When could penury be used to replace destitution?

The meanings of penury and destitution largely overlap; however, penury suggests a cramping or oppressive lack of money.

a catastrophic illness that condemned them to years of penury

When can poverty be used instead of destitution?

The synonyms poverty and destitution are sometimes interchangeable, but poverty may cover a range from extreme want of necessities to an absence of material comforts.

the extreme poverty of the slum dwellers

Learn More About destitution

Time Traveler for destitution

Time Traveler

The first known use of destitution was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Thesaurus Entries Near destitution




See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Destitution.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on destitution

Nglish: Translation of destitution for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of destitution for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!