Definition of penniless in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpɛnɪləs/


(Of a person) having no money; very poor: a penniless young student
More example sentences
  • We were completely penniless, with three young children, helpless in an unfamiliar city.
  • I was penniless and facing bankruptcy and the prospect of being prosecuted in court for a whole range of civil and criminal offences.
  • I had used all the money to get to England so I was penniless in a foreign land with only the clothes on my back and my sword to my name.
bankrupt, bust, insolvent;
needy, in need/want, badly off, in reduced circumstances, in straitened circumstances, hard up, on one's beam-ends, unable to make ends meet, underprivileged;
British  on the breadline, without a penny (to one's name)
informal broke, flat broke, cleaned out, strapped for cash, strapped, on one's uppers, without two pennies/(brass) farthings to rub together
British informal stony broke, skint, in Queer Street
North American informal stone broke



Example sentences
  • Financial difficulty had evolved into pennilessness, and with no ordinary work available she had been at her wits' end.
  • During the years of the Second Dutch War, opposition in Parliament frequently blamed the Crown's chronic pennilessness and mismanagement of the war on official corruption and the cost of the mistresses.
  • She argued that their pennilessness had been caused by the insurer's wrongful repudiation of the policy, but the court rejected that argument.



For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pen¦ni|less

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