dirt poor

lacking nearly all material means or resources for living.

1935–40, Americanism

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Example sentences
Thirty or forty years ago there was a veneer of a few rich people on top of a
  population that was predominantly dirt poor.
He's dirt poor and wants to lift his family out of the projects.
She had come from a village, dirt poor and with nowhere to live.
Residents in these infertile scrublands remain dirt poor and dependent on
  income from emigrant relatives.
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