Try Our Apps


Where does "December" come from? Read More.


[paw-per] /ˈpɔ pər/
a person without any means of support, especially a destitute person who depends on aid from public welfare funds or charity.
a very poor person.
Origin of pauper
1485-95; < Latin: poor
Related forms
pauperage, pauperdom, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for pauper
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • pauper emigrants would not, in all probability, be allowed to land.

    The Alien Invasion William Henry Wilkins
  • The gift is given, and yet for all that you may be dying, and half-dead, a pauper.

    Expositions of Holy Scripture Alexander Maclaren
  • In default of identification, it would be turned over for burial among the pauper dead.

    The Tempering Charles Neville Buck
  • “I feel just like the Prince in the Prince and the pauper, when the rat made a bed of him,” she said.

    Lucile Triumphant Elizabeth M. Duffield
  • It was a pauper's grave that closed over the body of Mozart—coffin piled on coffin, and no one marked the spot.

  • The daughter of a Braganza does not unite herself with a pauper.

    Tales of the Malayan Coast Rounsevelle Wildman
  • pauper children may be bound out by the officers having charge of the poor.

    The Government Class Book Andrew W. Young
  • A pauper emigrant's boy was taking the place of my son in everything.

    Peter and Jane S. (Sarah) Macnaughtan
British Dictionary definitions for pauper


a person who is extremely poor
(formerly) a destitute person supported by public charity
Derived Forms
pauperism, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin: poor
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for pauper

1510s, "person destitute of property or means of livelihood," from Latin pauper "poor, not wealthy, of small means" (see poor (adj.)). Originally in English a legal word, from Latin phrase in forma pauperis (late 15c.) "in the character of a poor person," thus allowed to sue in court without legal fees.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Word Value for pauper

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for pauper