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[beg-uh-ree] /ˈbɛg ə ri/
noun, plural beggaries for 3.
a state or condition of utter poverty.
beggars collectively.
a place lived in or frequented by beggars.
Origin of beggary
1350-1400; Middle English beggerie. See beggar, y3 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for beggary
Historical Examples
  • This affair was pompously announced in all the newspapers while I was nearly reduced to beggary.

  • So must we all, each in his job, if life isn't to turn to beggary.

    Erdgeist (Earth-Spirit) Frank Wedekind
  • The fair-seeming bubble burst, and the rich man of one day found himself on the morrow virtually reduced to beggary.

  • Fragonard, who had been the darling of his age, died in neglect and beggary.

  • Over a thousand lives were lost, nearly as many persons were crippled, and three thousand were in a few hours reduced to beggary.

    Stories of the Badger State Reuben Gold Thwaites
  • With all its wisdom, will it not be reduced to beggary and starvation?

    The New Society Walther Rathenau
  • He has gart me wise it awa to Charlie, and well hae nathing as lang as Kilmarkeckle lives, but scant and want and beggary.

    The Entail John Galt
  • But that was no distinction in Yuchovitch; the whole village was poor almost to beggary.

    The Promised Land Mary Antin
  • She stood silent with a pitying face, and believed in all the pretences of beggary which Lucy saw through by natural insight.

    The Doctor's Family Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant
  • That story about my being rescued from beggary is the vision of a diseased brain.

    Romola George Eliot
British Dictionary definitions for beggary


extreme poverty or need
the condition of being a beggar
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for beggary

late 14c.; see beg + -ary.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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