Share this entry

Share this page

pauper

Line breaks: pau¦per
Pronunciation: /ˈpɔːpə
 
/

Definition of pauper in English:

noun

1A very poor person: he died a pauper
More example sentences
  • Disease spread rapidly among the half starved and half clothed paupers.
  • And the heat went out of the pursuit eventually, and when he died in 1762, although a pauper, he was no longer a fugitive.
  • This means people will not belong to any of the classes or professions, but will simply be poor and helpless paupers.
Synonyms
poor person, indigent, bankrupt, insolvent;
beggar, mendicant, down-and-out
informal have-not
See also poor
1.1 historical A recipient of relief under the provisions of the Poor Law or of public charity: he was buried in a pauper’s grave
More example sentences
  • Dickens's rage against the New Poor Law, which precluded able-bodied paupers from relief, is underplayed.
  • By Winter he is penniless, far from home, and buried in an unmarked pauper's grave.
  • I suspect he's buried in a pauper's grave somewhere there in that little town's cemetery, long since forgotten.
1.2US Law A poor person who may bring a legal action without payment of costs.
Example sentences
  • If we go back to the example of the US Supreme Court, a pauper who has to depend on free legal aid is no match for the billionaire.

Origin

late 15th century: from Latin, literally 'poor'. The word's use in English originated in the Latin legal phrase in forma pauperis, literally 'in the form of a poor person' (allowing non-payment of costs).

Derivatives

pauperdom

1
noun
Example sentences
  • We and the Russians and the French, and the UN, and the Turks and the other Arabs, permitted millions of people to die or be reduced to misery and pauperdom.
  • It's where every day, your duties can mean the difference between life and death, prosperity and pauperdom, happiness or sadness for thousands and thousands of people.
  • In the volatile economic climate of Georgian Britain, even this slender lifeline might preserve a broken old redcoat from pauperdom or worse.

pauperism

2
Pronunciation: /-rɪz(ə)m/
noun
Example sentences
  • As land increases in value, poverty deepens and pauperism appears.
  • A creeping process of impoverishment ensued, accelerating progressively to become the generally recognized pauperism of the nineteenth century.
  • Meanwhile, the country continued to descend deeper into fragmentation, general pauperism, and mutual predacity.

pauperization

3
Pronunciation: /-ˈzeɪʃ(ə)n/
noun
Example sentences
  • They form a community not only by a common religion, but also by common deprivation, vilification, and pauperisation.
  • It symbolized repression, plunder, and pauperization of the people of this country.
  • The pauperization of Micronesia was a direct result of foreign aid.

pauperize

4
(also pauperise) verb
Example sentences
  • They will have died, lonely, homeless, frightened and pauperised, deserted by us.
  • How many million pounds sterling were siphoned off from India, pauperizing the country?
  • Monetary compensation is a sure way of pauperising the already marginalised, who have traditionally lived off the land.

Definition of pauper in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day peart
Pronunciation: pɪət
adjective
lively; cheerful