9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[des-ti-toot, -tyoot] /ˈdɛs tɪˌtut, -ˌtyut/
without means of subsistence; lacking food, clothing, and shelter.
deprived of, devoid of, or lacking (often followed by of):
destitute of children.
verb (used with object), destituted, destituting.
to leave destitute.
Origin of destitute
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin dēstitūtus (past participle of dēstituere to abandon, deprive of support), equivalent to dē- de- + stit- place, put (combining form of statuere; see statute) + -ū- thematic vowel + -tus past participle suffix
Related forms
destitutely, adverb
destituteness, noun
predestitute, adjective
undestitute, adjective
1. needy, poor, indigent, necessitous, penniless, impoverished. 2. deficient.
1. affluent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for destitute
  • Right now, they happen to be far more dangerous to the stability of society than the one in seven Americans who are destitute.
  • He helped humanize the destitute and destigmatize mental illness.
  • Their households cannot bear the risk of a loan, and so they remain destitute.
  • They are four in number, two from each lung, and are destitute of valves.
  • Loans are seldom the most appropriate service for the destitute.
  • One day you'll retire, and you don't want to retire destitute.
  • Being poor is not a worry; being destitute is my only real worry.
  • Many people who were barely making it a year or so ago are destitute now.
  • He left us completely destitute.
  • The army, too, has its hands full assisting the newly destitute.
British Dictionary definitions for destitute


lacking the means of subsistence; totally impoverished
(postpositive) foll by of. completely lacking; deprived or bereft (of): destitute of words
(obsolete) abandoned or deserted
Derived Forms
destituteness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin dēstitūtus forsaken, from dēstituere to leave alone, from statuere to place
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 destitute

late 14c., "abandoned, forsaken," from Latin destitutus "abandoned," past participle of destituere "forsake," from de- "away" + statuere "put, place," causative of stare "to stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand" (see stet). Originally literal; sense of "lacking resources, impoverished" is 1530s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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