[poo r] /pʊər/

adjective, poorer, poorest.
having little or no money, goods, or other means of support:
a poor family living on welfare.
Law. dependent upon charity or public support.
(of a country, institution, etc.) meagerly supplied or endowed with resources or funds.
characterized by or showing poverty.
deficient or lacking in something specified:
a region poor in mineral deposits.
faulty or inferior, as in construction:
poor workmanship.
deficient in desirable ingredients, qualities, or the like:
poor soil.
excessively lean or emaciated, as cattle.
of an inferior, inadequate, or unsatisfactory kind:
poor health.
lacking in skill, ability, or training:
a poor cook.
deficient in moral excellence; cowardly, abject, or mean.
scanty, meager, or paltry in amount or number:
a poor audience.
humble; modest:
They shared their poor meal with a stranger.
unfortunate; hapless:
The poor dog was limping.
(used with a plural verb) poor persons collectively (usually preceded by the):
sympathy for the poor.
poor as a church mouse, extremely poor.
poor as Job’s turkey, extremely poor; impoverished.
/pʊə; pɔː/

characterized by or indicating poverty: the country had a poor economy
deficient in amount; scanty or inadequate: a poor salary
when postpositive, usually foll by in. badly supplied (with resources, materials, etc): a region poor in wild flowers
lacking in quality; inferior
giving no pleasure; disappointing or disagreeable: a poor play
(prenominal) deserving of pity; unlucky: poor John is ill again
poor man’s something, a (cheaper) substitute for something

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.

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

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.


Read Also:

  • Poor as a churchmouse

    Having little or no wealth and few possessions, as in She’s poor as a churchmouse, so you can’t expect her to donate anything. The reason for this long-used simile is unclear, but most believe that, since churches are not known for storing food, a mouse inside one would fare poorly. It has survived such earlier […]

  • Poor-ass

    adjective Wretched; nasty; lousy: a poor-ass place to live (1960s+)

  • Poor-box

    noun 1. a box, especially in a church, into which contributions for the poor can be dropped. noun 1. a box, esp one in a church, used for the collection of alms or money for the poor

  • Poor-boy

    noun 1. Southern U.S. (chiefly Gulf States) . a hero sandwich. noun phrase A very large sandwich; Dagwood, hero sandwich [1921+; coined and invented by Clovis and Benjamin Martin, who opened a New Orleans restaurant in 1921]

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