a person who begs alms or lives by begging.
a penniless person.
a wretched fellow; rogue: the surly beggar who collects the rents.
a child or youngster (usually preceded by little ): a sudden urge to hug the little beggar.
verb (used with object)
to reduce to utter poverty; impoverish: The family had been beggared by the war.
to cause one's resources of or ability for (description, comparison, etc.) to seem poor or inadequate: The costume beggars description.

1175–1225; Middle English beggare, beggere. See beg1, -er1, -ar3

beggarhood, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
beggar (ˈbɛɡə)
1.  a person who begs, esp one who lives by begging
2.  a person who has no money or resources; pauper
3.  ironic, jocular chiefly (Brit) fellow: lucky beggar!
4.  to be beyond the resources of (esp in the phrase to beggar description)
5.  to impoverish; reduce to begging

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

early 13c., from O.Fr. begart, originally a member of the Beghards, lay brothers of mendicants in the Low Countries, from M.Du. beggaert "mendicant," of uncertain origin, with pejorative suffix (see -ard). Cf. Beguine. Early folk etymology connected
the English word with bag. The feminine form beggestere is attested as a surname from c.1300. The verb meaning "to reduce to poverty" is from 1520s. Beggar's velvet was an old name for "dust bunnies."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Our objective is that no beggar should be put in jail, but into a
  rehabilitative place.
Both the beggar and the lion might be able to scavenge a meal without killing.
It is akin to the ecstasy of a beggar high on marijuana.
To exalt one over the other seems to me to completely beggar the question.
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