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Webster 1913 Edition


Poor

Poor

,
Adj.
[
Com
par.
Poorer
(?; 254)
;
sup
erl.
Poorest
.]
[OE.
poure
or
povre
, OF.
povre
, F.
pauvre
, L.
pauper
; the first syllable of which is probably akin to
paucus
few (see
Paucity
,
Few
), and the second to
parare
to prepare, procure. See
Few
, and cf.
Parade
,
Pauper
,
Poverty
.]
1.
Destitute of property; wanting in material riches or goods; needy; indigent.
☞ It is often synonymous with indigent and with necessitous denoting extreme want. It is also applied to persons who are not entirely destitute of property, but who are not rich; as, a poor man or woman; poor people.
2.
(Law)
So completely destitute of property as to be entitled to maintenance from the public.
3.
Hence, in very various applications:
Destitute of such qualities as are desirable, or might naturally be expected
; as:
(a)
Wanting in fat, plumpness, or fleshiness; lean; emaciated; meager;
as, a
poor
horse, ox, dog, etc.
“Seven other kine came up after them, poor and very ill-favored and lean-fleshed.”
Gen. xli. 19.
(b)
Wanting in strength or vigor; feeble; dejected;
as,
poor
health;
poor
spirits
.
“His genius . . . poor and cowardly.”
Bacon.
(c)
Of little value or worth; not good; inferior; shabby; mean;
as,
poor
clothes;
poor
lodgings
.
“A poor vessel.”
Clarendon.
(d)
Destitute of fertility; exhausted; barren; sterile; – said of land;
as,
poor
soil
.
(e)
Destitute of beauty, fitness, or merit;
as, a
poor
discourse; a
poor
picture
.
(f)
Without prosperous conditions or good results; unfavorable; unfortunate; unconformable;
as, a
poor
business; the sick man had a
poor
night
.
(g)
Inadequate; insufficient; insignificant;
as, a
poor
excuse
.
That I have wronged no man will be a
poor
plea or apology at the last day.
Calamy.
4.
Worthy of pity or sympathy; – used also sometimes as a term of endearment, or as an expression of modesty, and sometimes as a word of contempt.
And for mine own
poor
part,
Look you, I’ll go pray.
Shakespeare
Poor
, little, pretty, fluttering thing.
Prior.
5.
Free from self-assertion; not proud or arrogant; meek.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit.”
Matt. v. 3.
Poor law
,
a law providing for, or regulating, the relief or support of the poor.
Poor man's treacle
(Bot.)
,
garlic; – so called because it was thought to be an antidote to animal poison.
[Eng]
Dr. Prior.
Poor man's weatherglass
(Bot.)
,
the red-flowered pimpernel (
Anagallis arvensis
), which opens its blossoms only in fair weather.
Poor rate
,
an assessment or tax, as in an English parish, for the relief or support of the poor.
Poor soldier
(Zool.)
,
the friar bird.
The poor
,
those who are destitute of property; the indigent; the needy. In a legal sense, those who depend on charity or maintenance by the public.
“I have observed the more public provisions are made for the poor, the less they provide for themselves.”
Franklin.

Poor

,
Noun.
(Zool.)
A small European codfish (
Gadus minutus
); – called also
power cod
.

Webster 1828 Edition


Poor

POOR

,
Adj.
[L. pauper.]
1.
Wholly destitute of property, or not having property sufficient for a comfortable subsistence; needy. It is often synonymous with indigent, and with necessitous, denoting extreme want; it is also applied to persons who are not entirely destitute of property, but are not rich; as a poor man or woman; poor people
2.
In law, so destitute of property as to be entitled to maintenance from the public.
3.
Destitute of strength, beauty or dignity; barren; mean; jejune; as a poor composition; a poor essay; a poor discourse.
4.
Destitute of value, worth or importance; of little use; trifling.
That I have wronged no man, will be a poor plea or apology at the last day.
5.
Paltry; mean; of little value; as a poor coat; a poor house.
6.
Destitute of fertility; barren; exhausted; as poor land. The ground is become poor.
7.
Of little worth; unimportant; as in my poor opinion.
8.
Unhappy; pitiable.
Vex'd sailors curse the rain
For which poor shepherds pray'd in vain.
9.
Mean; depressed; low; dejected; destitute of spirit.
A soothsayer made Antonius believe that his genius,which was otherwise brave, was, in the presence of Octavianus, poor and cowardly.
10. Lean; emaciated; as a poor horse. The ox is poor.
11. Small, or of a bad quality; as a poor crop; a poor harvest.
12. Uncomfortable; restless; ill. The patient has had a poor night.
13. Destitute of saving grace. Rev.3.
14. In general, wanting good qualities, or the qualities which render a thing valuable, excellent, proper, or sufficient for its purpose; as a poor pen; a poor ship; a poor carriage; poor fruit; poor bread; poor wine, &c.
15. A word of tenderness or pity; dear.
Poor, little, pretty, fluttering thing.
16. A word of slight contempt; wretched.
The poor monk never saw many of the decrees and councils he had occasion to use.
17. The poor, collectively, used as a noun; those who are destitute of property; the indigent; the needy; in a legal sense, those who depend on charity or maintenance by the public.
I have observed the more public provisions are made for the poor, the less they provide for themselves.
Poor in spirit, in a Scriptural sense, humble; contrite; abased in one's own sight by a sense of guilt. Matt.5.

Definition 2023


Poor

Poor

See also: poor and pöör

Saterland Frisian

Noun

Poor n

  1. pair; couple

poor

poor

See also: Poor and pöör

English

Adjective

poor (comparative poorer, superlative poorest)

  1. With little or no possessions or money.
    We were so poor that we couldn't afford shoes.
  2. Of low quality.
    That was a poor performance.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 10, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      He looked round the poor room, at the distempered walls, and the bad engravings in meretricious frames, the crinkly paper and wax flowers on the chiffonier; and he thought of a room like Father Bryan's, with panelling, with cut glass, with tulips in silver pots, such a room as he had hoped to have for his own.
  3. Used to express pity.
    Oh you poor little thing.
    • 1915, Mrs. Belloc Lowndes, The Lodger, chapter I:
      Thanks to that penny he had just spent so recklessly [on a newspaper] he would pass a happy hour, taken, for once, out of his anxious, despondent, miserable self. It irritated him shrewdly to know that these moments of respite from carking care would not be shared with his poor wife, with careworn, troubled Ellen.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 15, in The China Governess:
      Mr. Campion sighed. ‘Poor man,’ he said. ‘He sees his great sacrifices rejected [word deleted], and so, no doubt, all the Misses Eumenides let loose again to plague him.’
  4. Deficient in a specified way.
    Cow's milk is poor in iron.
  5. Inadequate, insufficient.
    I received a poor reward for all my hard work.
    • Edmund Calamy (1600-1666)
      That I have wronged no man will be a poor plea or apology at the last day.
  6. Free from self-assertion; not proud or arrogant; meek.

Usage notes

When the word "poor" is used to express pity, it does not change the meaning of the sentence. For example, in the sentence "Give this soup to that poor man!", the word "poor" does not serve to indicate which man is meant (and so the sentence expresses exactly the same command as "Give this soup to that man!"). Instead, the word "poor" merely adds an expression of pity to the sentence.

Synonyms

Antonyms

  • (having little or no possessions): rich
  • (of low quality): good
  • (deficient in a specified way): rich
  • (inadequate): adequate

Hyponyms

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations

Noun

poor pl (plural only)

  1. (with "the") Those who have little or no possessions or money, taken as a group.
    The poor are always with us.

Translations

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: less · till · next · #257: poor · present · water · stood

Anagrams


Limburgish

Etymology

From Walloon porea.

Noun

poor m

  1. leek

Old French

Noun

poor f (oblique plural poors, nominative singular poor, nominative plural poors)

  1. fear