follow Dictionary.com

Stories We Like: A Guide to the Comma

poor

[poo r] /pʊər/
adjective, poorer, poorest.
1.
having little or no money, goods, or other means of support:
a poor family living on welfare.
2.
Law. dependent upon charity or public support.
3.
(of a country, institution, etc.) meagerly supplied or endowed with resources or funds.
4.
characterized by or showing poverty.
5.
deficient or lacking in something specified:
a region poor in mineral deposits.
6.
faulty or inferior, as in construction:
poor workmanship.
7.
deficient in desirable ingredients, qualities, or the like:
poor soil.
8.
excessively lean or emaciated, as cattle.
9.
of an inferior, inadequate, or unsatisfactory kind:
poor health.
10.
lacking in skill, ability, or training:
a poor cook.
11.
deficient in moral excellence; cowardly, abject, or mean.
12.
scanty, meager, or paltry in amount or number:
a poor audience.
13.
humble; modest:
They shared their poor meal with a stranger.
14.
unfortunate; hapless:
The poor dog was limping.
noun
15.
(used with a plural verb) poor persons collectively (usually preceded by the):
sympathy for the poor.
Idioms
16.
poor as a church mouse, extremely poor.
17.
poor as Job's turkey, extremely poor; impoverished.
Origin
1150-1200
1150-1200; Middle English pov(e)re < Old French povre < Latin pauper. See pauper
Related forms
poorness, noun
nonpoor, noun
quasi-poor, adjective
quasi-poorly, adverb
Can be confused
paw, poor, pore.
Synonyms
1. needy, indigent, necessitous, straitened, destitute, penniless, poverty-stricken. Poor, impecunious, impoverished, penniless refer to those lacking money. Poor is the simple term for the condition of lacking means to obtain the comforts of life: a very poor family. Impecunious often suggests that the poverty is a consequence of unwise habits: an impecunious actor. Impoverished often implies a former state of greater plenty, from which one has been reduced: the impoverished aristocracy. Penniless may mean destitute, or it may apply simply to a temporary condition of being without funds: The widow was left penniless with three small children. 5. meager. 6. unsatisfactory, shabby. 7. sterile, barren, unfruitful, unproductive. 8. thin, skinny, meager, gaunt. 14. miserable, unhappy, pitiable.
Antonyms
1, 5, 7. rich. 1, 3, 4. wealthy.
Pronunciation note
In the North and North Midland U.S., the vowel of poor is most often
[oo] /ʊ/ (Show IPA)
Poor and sure thus contrast with pour and shore:
[poo r] /pʊər/
[shoo r] /ʃʊər/
versus
[pawr] /pɔr/
[shawr] /ʃɔr/
or
[pohr] /poʊr/
[shohr] /ʃoʊr/ .
In the South Midland and South, the vowel of poor is generally
[aw] /ɔ/
or
[oh] /oʊ/
(often with the final (r) dropped), which means that in these areas, poor and pour are homophones, as are sure and shore. Both types of pronunciation exist in the British Isles.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for quasi-poor

poor

/pʊə; pɔː/
adjective
1.
  1. lacking financial or other means of subsistence; needy
  2. (as collective noun; preceded by the) the poor
2.
characterized by or indicating poverty the country had a poor economy
3.
deficient in amount; scanty or inadequate a poor salary
4.
when postpositive, usually foll by in. badly supplied (with resources, materials, etc) a region poor in wild flowers
5.
lacking in quality; inferior
6.
giving no pleasure; disappointing or disagreeable a poor play
7.
(prenominal) deserving of pity; unlucky poor John is ill again
8.
poor man's something, a (cheaper) substitute for something
Derived Forms
poorness, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French povre, from Latin pauper; see pauper, poverty
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 quasi-poor

poor

adj.

c.1200, "lacking money or resources, destitute; needy, indigent; small, scanty," from Old French povre "poor, wretched, dispossessed; inadequate; weak, thin" (Modern French pauvre), from Latin pauper "poor, not wealthy," from pre-Latin *pau-paros "producing little; getting little," a compound from the roots of paucus "little" (see paucity) and parare "to produce, bring forth" (see pare).

Replaced Old English earm. Figuratively from early 14c. Meaning "of inferior quality" is from c.1300. Of inhabited places from c.1300; of soil, etc., from late 14c. The poor boy sandwich, made of simple but filling ingredients, was invented and named in New Orleans in 1921. To poor mouth "deny one's advantages" is from 1965 (to make a poor mouth "whine" is Scottish dialect from 1822). Slang poor man's ________ "the cheaper alternative to _______," is from 1854.

n.

"poor persons collectively," mid-12c., from poor (adj.). The Latin adjective pauper "poor" also was used in a noun sense "a poor man."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
quasi-poor in the Bible

The Mosaic legislation regarding the poor is specially important. (1.) They had the right of gleaning the fields (Lev. 19:9, 10; Deut. 24:19,21). (2.) In the sabbatical year they were to have their share of the produce of the fields and the vineyards (Ex. 23:11; Lev. 25:6). (3.) In the year of jubilee they recovered their property (Lev. 25:25-30). (4.) Usury was forbidden, and the pledged raiment was to be returned before the sun went down (Ex. 22:25-27; Deut. 24:10-13). The rich were to be generous to the poor (Deut. 15:7-11). (5.) In the sabbatical and jubilee years the bond-servant was to go free (Deut. 15:12-15; Lev. 25:39-42, 47-54). (6.) Certain portions from the tithes were assigned to the poor (Deut. 14:28, 29; 26:12, 13). (7.) They shared in the feasts (Deut. 16:11, 14; Neh. 8:10). (8.) Wages were to be paid at the close of each day (Lev. 19:13). In the New Testament (Luke 3:11; 14:13; Acts 6:1; Gal. 2:10; James 2:15, 16) we have similar injunctions given with reference to the poor. Begging was not common under the Old Testament, while it was so in the New Testament times (Luke 16:20, 21, etc.). But begging in the case of those who are able to work is forbidden, and all such are enjoined to "work with their own hands" as a Christian duty (1 Thess. 4:11; 2 Thess. 3:7-13; Eph. 4:28). This word is used figuratively in Matt. 5:3; Luke 6:20; 2 Cor. 8:9; Rev. 3:17.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for poor

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for quasi

14
15
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with quasi-poor