penury

[pen-yuh-ree]
noun
1.
extreme poverty; destitution.
2.
scarcity; dearth; inadequacy; insufficiency.

Origin:
1400–50; late Middle English < Latin pēnūria; akin to Greek peîna hunger, penía poverty


1. indigence, need, want.


1. wealth.
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World English Dictionary
penury (ˈpɛnjʊrɪ)
 
n
1.  extreme poverty
2.  extreme scarcity
 
[C15: from Latin pēnūria dearth, of obscure origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

penury
early 15c., from M.Fr. pénurie, from L. penuria "want, need," related to paene "scarcely."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Graduate school penury in the Midwest was romantic by comparison.
Zafar died five years later in penury and exile.
The authors of the recent triumphs received their university training in the
  good old days of penury on private funds.
But in penury, arrogance and conceit may give way to humility, diplomacy and
  learning to be discreet.
Synonyms
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