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[im-pi-kyoo-nee-uh s] /ˌɪm pɪˈkyu ni əs/
having little or no money; penniless; poor.
Origin of impecunious
1590-1600; im-2 + obsolete pecunious wealthy < Latin pecūniōsus, equivalent to pecūni(a) wealth + -ōsus -ous
Related forms
impecuniously, adverb
impecuniousness, impecuniosity
[im-pi-kyoo-nee-os-i-tee] /ˌɪm pɪˌkyu niˈɒs ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
destitute, poverty-stricken. See poor. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for impecunious
Historical Examples
  • I went back to that gruesome hostelry and wrote an article on 'impecunious Life in London.'

    The Making Of A Novelist David Christie Murray
  • But we never did it—because, I think, although we were plucky, we were impecunious!

    The History of "Punch" M. H. Spielmann
  • She was bonne fille even, so unmercenary as sometimes to accede good humouredly to the pleadings of an impecunious youth.

    A Bed of Roses W. L. George
  • I'd not load one of them with a wild, impecunious Irishman like myself.

  • A gentleman by his bearing, debonair and graceful, he looks the very picture of an impecunious count.

    My Wonderful Visit Charlie Chaplin
  • They seemed an impecunious assemblage, gathered for mere sport.

    Mystic London: Charles Maurice Davies
  • They are dreadfully poor, and a little Mller arrives every year, but Dulcie is as happy as she is incompetent and impecunious.

    The Romance of His Life Mary Cholmondeley
  • We know whence they come, for they are often impecunious gentlemen, but where do they go?

    Fair Margaret Francis Marion Crawford
  • After three years of stagnation the Company was as exasperated and impecunious as the settlers.

    The Long White Cloud William Pember Reeves
  • She was generous to impecunious celebrities of whom she had been told to expect success.

    Narcissus Evelyn Scott
British Dictionary definitions for impecunious


without money; penniless
Derived Forms
impecuniously, adverb
impecuniousness, impecuniosity (ˌɪmpɪkjuːnɪˈɒsɪtɪ) noun
Word Origin
C16: from im- (not) + -pecunious, from Latin pecūniōsus wealthy, from pecūnia money
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 impecunious

"lacking in money," 1590s, from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + Latin pecuniosus "rich," from pecunia "money, property" (see pecuniary). Related: Impecuniously; impecuniosity.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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