Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of poor
Meaning of poor by Wiktionary Dictionary



    From Middle English povre, povere, from Old French ( かつ Anglo-Norman ) povre, poure ( Modern French pauvre ), from Latin pauper, from Old Latin *pavo-pars ( “getting little” ), from Proto-Indo-European *pau- ( “smallness” ). Cognate with Old English fēawa ( “little, few” ). Displaced native Middle English earm, poor ( from Old English earm; See arm ), Middle English wantsum, wantsome ( “poor, needy” ) ( from Old Norse vant ( “deficiency, lack, want” ), Middle English unlede ( “poor” ) ( from Old English unlǣde, Middle English unweli, unwely ( “poor, unwealthy” ) ( from Old English un- + weliġ ( “well-to-do, prosperous, rich” ) .


    • ( Australia ) IPA: /pɔə/
    • ( RP )
      • IPA: /pɔː( ɹ )/, /pʊə/, X-SAMPA: /pO:( r )/, /pU@/
    • ( US )
      • IPA: /pʊr/, /pɔr/, X-SAMPA: /pUr/, /pOr/
    • Rhymes: -ʊə( r ), Rhymes: -ɔː( r )
    • Homophone: pour, pore, paw ( some accents )


    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 .
    3. To be pitied .
      Oh you poor little thing .
    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 .




    poor ( plural: only )

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



    • roop

Explanation of poor by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. deserving or inciting pity

    2. Oh, you poor thing
      his poor distorted limbs
    3. unsatisfactory

    4. a poor light for reading
      poor morale
      expectations were poor
    5. having little money or few possessions

    6. deplored the gap between rich and poor countries
      the proverbial poor artist living in a garret
    7. lacking in specific resources, qualities or substances

    8. a poor land
      the area was poor in timber and coal
      food poor in nutritive value
    9. characterized by or indicating poverty

    10. the country had a poor economy
      they lived in the poor section of town
    11. not sufficient to meet a need

    12. a poor salary
    1. people without possessions or wealth ( considered as a group )

    2. the urban poor need assistance

    Definition of poor by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Poor a. [Compar. Poorer ( ?; 254 ); superl. 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: 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. Wanting in strength or vigor; feeble; dejected; as, “poor health; poor spirits”. “His genius . . . poor and cowardly.” Bacon. Of little value or worth; not good; inferior; shabby; mean; as, “poor clothes; poor lodgings”. “A poor vessel.” Clarendon. Destitute of fertility; exhausted; barren; sterile; -- said of land; as, “poor soil”. Destitute of beauty, fitness, or merit; as, “a poor discourse; a poor picture”. Without prosperous conditions or good results; unfavorable; unfortunate; unconformable; as, “a poor business; the sick man had a poor night”. 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. Shak.

      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.

    2. Poor n. ( Zool. ) A small European codfish ( Gadus minutus ); -- called also power cod.