What does poor mean?

Definitions for poor

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word poor.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. poor people, pooradjective

    people without possessions or wealth (considered as a group)

    "the urban poor need assistance"

  2. hapless, miserable, misfortunate, pathetic, piteous, pitiable, pitiful, poor, wretchedadjective

    deserving or inciting pity

    "a hapless victim"; "miserable victims of war"; "the shabby room struck her as extraordinarily pathetic"- Galsworthy; "piteous appeals for help"; "pitiable homeless children"; "a pitiful fate"; "Oh, you poor thing"; "his poor distorted limbs"; "a wretched life"

  3. pooradjective

    having little money or few possessions

    "deplored the gap between rich and poor countries"; "the proverbial poor artist living in a garret"

  4. pooradjective

    characterized by or indicating poverty

    "the country had a poor economy"; "they lived in the poor section of town"

  5. pooradjective

    lacking in specific resources, qualities or substances

    "a poor land"; "the area was poor in timber and coal"; "food poor in nutritive value"

  6. inadequate, poor, shortadjective

    not sufficient to meet a need

    "an inadequate income"; "a poor salary"; "money is short"; "on short rations"; "food is in short supply"; "short on experience"

  7. pooradjective


    "a poor light for reading"; "poor morale"; "expectations were poor"


  1. poornoun

    Those people as a group who have little or no possessions or money.

    The poor are always with us.

  2. pooradjective

    With little or no possessions or money.

    We were so poor that we couldn't afford shoes.

  3. pooradjective

    Of low quality.

    That was a poor performance.

  4. pooradjective

    To be pitied.

    Oh you poor little thing.

  5. pooradjective

    Deficient in a specified way.

    Cow's milk is poor in iron.

  6. pooradjective

    inadequate, insufficient

    I received a poor reward for all my hard work.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. POORadjective

    Etymology: pauvre, Fr. povre, Spanish.

    Poor cuckoldly knave. —— I wrong him to call him poor; they say he hath masses of money. William Shakespeare.

    Who builds a church to God, and not to fame,
    Will never mark the marble with his name;
    Go search it there, where to be born and die,
    Of rich and poor makes all the history. Alexander Pope.

    A conservatory of snow and ice used for delicacy to cool wine, is a poor and contemptible use, in respect of other uses that may be made of it. Francis Bacon, Natural History.

    How poor are the imitations of nature in common course of experiments, except they be led by great judgment. Francis Bacon.

    When he delights in sin, as he observes it in other men, he is wholly transformed from the creature God first made him; nay, has consumed those poor remainders of good that the sin of Adam left him. South.

    That I have wronged no man, will be a poor plea or apology at the last day; for it is not for rapin, that men are formally impeached and finally condemned; but I was an hungry, and ye gave me no meat. Edmund Calamy, Sermons.

    A poor number it was to conquer Ireland to the pope’s use. Francis Bacon.

    And if that wisdom still wise ends propound,
    Why made he man, of other creatures, king;
    When, if he perish here, there is not found
    In all the world so poor and vile a thing? Davies.

    The marquis, making haste to Scarborough, embarked in a poor vessel. Edward Hyde, b. viii.

    We have seen how poor and contemptible a force has been raised by those who appeared openly. Joseph Addison, Freeholder.

    To be without power or distinction, is not, in my poor opinion, a very amiable situation to a person of title. Jonathan Swift.

    Vext sailors curse the rain,
    For which poor shepherds pray’d in vain. Edmund Waller.

    Vain privilege, poor woman have a tongue;
    Men can stand silent, and resolve on wrong. Dryden.

    A soothsayer made Antonius believe, that his genius, which otherwise was brave, was, in the presence of Octavianus, poor and cowardly. Francis Bacon.

    Poor, little, pretty, flutt’ring thing,
    Must we no longer live together?
    And dost thou prune thy trembling wing,
    To take thy flight thou know’st not whither? Matthew Prior.

    The poor monk never saw many of the decrees and councils he had occasion to use. Thomas Baker, Reflect. on Learning.

    I have very poor and unhappy brains for drinking: I could wish courtesy would invent some other entertainment. William Shakespeare.

    From a confin’d well manag’d store,
    You both employ and feed the poor. Edmund Waller.

    Never any time since the reformation can shew so many poor amongst the widows and orphans of churchmen, as this particular time. Thomas Sprat, Sermons.

    Has God cast thy lot amongst the poor of this world, by denying thee the plenties of this life, or by taking them away? this may be preventing mercy; for much mischief riches do to the sons of men. Robert South, Sermons.

    The poor dare nothing tell but flatt’ring news. Dryden.

    Where juice wanteth, the language is thin, flagging, poor, starved and scarce covering the bone. Ben Jonson.


  1. Poor

    Poverty is a state or condition in which a person lacks the financial resources and essentials for a certain standard of living. Poverty can have diverse social, economic, and political causes and effects. When evaluating poverty in statistics or economics there are two main measures: absolute poverty compares income against the amount needed to meet basic personal needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter; relative poverty measures when a person cannot meet a minimum level of living standards, compared to others in the same time and place. The definition of relative poverty varies from one country to another, or from one society to another.Statistically, as of 2019, most of the world's population live in poverty: in PPP dollars, 85% of people live on less than $30 per day, two-thirds live on less than $10 per day, and 10% live on less than $1.90 per day now changed to 2.15$/day.(extreme poverty). According to the World Bank Group in 2020, more than 40% of the poor live in conflict-affected countries. Even when countries experience economic development, the poorest citizens of middle-income countries frequently do not gain an adequate share of their countries' increased wealth to leave poverty. Governments and non-governmental organizations have experimented with a number of different policies and programs for poverty alleviation, such as electrification in rural areas or housing first policies in urban areas. The international policy frameworks for poverty alleviation, established by the United Nations in 2015, are summarized in Sustainable Development Goal 1: "No Poverty". Social forces, such as gender, disability, race and ethnicity, can exacerbate issues of poverty—with women, children and minorities frequently bearing unequal burdens of poverty. Moreover, impoverished individuals are more vulnerable to the effects of other social issues, such as the environmental effects of industry or the impacts of climate change or other natural disasters or extreme weather events. Poverty can also make other social problems worse; economic pressures on impoverished communities frequently play a part in deforestation, biodiversity loss and ethnic conflict. For this reason, the UN's Sustainable Development Goals and other international policy programs, such as the international recovery from COVID-19, emphasize the connection of poverty alleviation with other societal goals.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Poor

    destitute of property; wanting in material riches or goods; needy; indigent

  2. Poor

    so completely destitute of property as to be entitled to maintenance from the public

  3. Poor

    destitute of such qualities as are desirable, or might naturally be expected

  4. Poor

    wanting in fat, plumpness, or fleshiness; lean; emaciated; meager; as, a poor horse, ox, dog, etc

  5. Poor

    wanting in strength or vigor; feeble; dejected; as, poor health; poor spirits

  6. Poor

    of little value or worth; not good; inferior; shabby; mean; as, poor clothes; poor lodgings

  7. Poor

    destitute of fertility; exhausted; barren; sterile; -- said of land; as, poor soil

  8. Poor

    destitute of beauty, fitness, or merit; as, a poor discourse; a poor picture

  9. Poor

    without prosperous conditions or good results; unfavorable; unfortunate; unconformable; as, a poor business; the sick man had a poor night

  10. Poor

    inadequate; insufficient; insignificant; as, a poor excuse

  11. Poor

    worthy of pity or sympathy; -- used also sometimes as a term of endearment, or as an expression of modesty, and sometimes as a word of contempt

  12. Poor

    free from self-assertion; not proud or arrogant; meek

  13. Poornoun

    a small European codfish (Gadus minutus); -- called also power cod

  14. Etymology: [OE. poure or povre, OF. povre, F. pauvre, L. pauper; the first syllable of which is probably akin to paucus few (see Paucity, Few), and the second to parare to prepare, procure. See Few, and cf. Parade, Pauper, Poverty.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Poor

    pōōr, adj. having little or nothing: without means: needy: spiritless: depressed: (B.) humble: contrite: wanting in appearance: lean: wanting in strength: weak: wanting in value: inferior: wanting in fertility: sterile: wanting in fitness, beauty, or dignity: trifling: paltry: dear (endearingly).—ns. Poor′house, a house established at the public expense for sheltering the poor: an almshouse; Poor′john (Shak.), a coarse kind of fish, the hake when salted.—n.pl. Poor′-laws, laws providing for the support of the poor.—adv. Poor′ly.—ns. Poor′ness; Poor′-rate, a rate or tax for the support of the poor; Poor′-Rob′in, an almanac; Poor's′-box, a box for receiving contributions to the poor.—adj. Poor′-spir′ited, cowardly: mean.—ns. Poor′-spir′itedness, cowardice; Poor's′-roll (Scots law), the list of poor persons who are litigants, but unable to pay the expenses of litigation, and therefore are allowed to sue in formâ pauperis.—Poor man of mutton (Scot.), cold mutton broiled, esp. the shoulder; Poor man's herb, the hedge-hyssop; Poor Will, a common American bird of the genus Phalænoptilus.—The poor, poor people collectively: those depending on public or private charity. [O. Fr. poure, povre (Fr. pauvre)—L. pauper, poor.]

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

  1. poor

    Imagery is unsuitable for interpretation to answer adequately requirements on

Suggested Resources

  1. POOR

    What does POOR stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the POOR acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. POOR

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Poor is ranked #9800 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Poor surname appeared 3,303 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 1 would have the surname Poor.

    92.3% or 3,051 total occurrences were White.
    3.1% or 104 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    1.3% or 44 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.
    1.2% or 42 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    1% or 33 total occurrences were Black.
    0.8% or 29 total occurrences were Asian.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'poor' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #648

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'poor' in Written Corpus Frequency: #814

  3. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'poor' in Adjectives Frequency: #64

How to pronounce poor?

How to say poor in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of poor in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of poor in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of poor in a Sentence

  1. The Middlesex County Prosecutor:

    For whatever reason, this law didn't seem to be well known. The state police did a poor job at publicizing it, i think it's particularly striking that that wasn't raised.

  2. Berin Szoka:

    Yet broadband deployment remains unnecessarily difficult because of red tape, high fees and poor infrastructure planning at all levels of government, fixing that could bring faster, cheaper broadband to millions of Americans, especially in rural areas.

  3. Jim Smith:

    Mark Rupp said. The virus is blamed for more than 6.5 million confirmed infections and 195,000 deaths in the U.S., by far the highest totals of any country, according to the count kept by Johns Hopkins University. While case numbers have fallen from a peak average of 67,000 new infections per day in late July to about 36,000 now, the numbers remain staggeringly high. Deaths are running at about 750 a day, down from a peak of over 2,200 in late April. In recent days, Mississippi has allowed restaurants to expand their customer capacity to 75 %. New Jersey reopened gyms and indoor dining at restaurants, though with limited capacity. Michigans governor allowed gyms to reopen and organized sports to resume. County commissioners in Pinellas County, Fla., on Thursday are set to discuss whether to repeal their mask ordinance. While some Americans may see such things as a welcome step closer to normal, public health experts warn the U.S. is setting itself up for failure — again. ( iStock) Public health experts noted that it is safe to resume certain activities in communities where there are low levels of infection. The nations top infectious-disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, appeared via video at Vermont Gov. Phil Scotts virus briefing Tuesday and praised the states response and its steps to reopen safely. Anthony Fauci chalked it up to Vermonts emphasis on wearing masks, avoiding crowds and taking other simple precautions. But elsewhere, experts said, case counts are too high to resume higher-risk activities, such as going to bars, gyms, theaters and stadiums, participating in close contact sports or eating inside a restaurant. In most communities in Florida, bars were allowed to reopen at 50 percent capacity on Monday, while keeping some precautions in place. But Floridas three biggest counties Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach are keeping their bars closed because of high case numbers. Even in places where drinking establishments have been given the OK to reopen, some owners and customers alike are hesitant. At The Leon Pub, a smoky bar a mile up the road from Floridas Capitol in Tallahassee, the Monday night crowd was sparse, as Leon Pub has been for much of the long, oppressive summer. Leon Pub been crickets and tumbleweeds, said bartender Lauren Bryant. Among the few there were Allie Preston and her husband. Weve been cooped up for a while. It was nice to have normalcy, she said. Florida bars were shuttered on St. Patricks Day in March, allowed to reopen in June, then ordered closed again about two weeks later as virus cases surged. Leon Pub was allowed to reopen in July because it had a restaurant license. Jim Smith, owner of Poor Pauls Pourhouse in Tallahassee, intends to keep Jim Smith place closed until the outbreak is over. I miss going to work every day. I miss seeing the customers and employees.

  4. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder:

    It's not about just moving money, this is a case of a handful of government officials making extremely poor decisions that had massive consequences for people. This raises a cultural question. Most government employees are great people. They work really hard. But there are places where people were following kind of the letter of the federal lead and copper rule far too literally and not in the appropriate fashion that led to this.

  5. David Madani:

    Some people think that politicians ultimately determine the outcome of the economy and the unemployment rate ... (and) would view the recession as a direct reflection of poor fiscal management, from a political point of view, clearly it's going to be a potential weakness ... which is a bit unfair.

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Translations for poor

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    the act of carrying something
    • A. carry
    • B. jeopardize
    • C. signify
    • D. depend

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