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Line breaks: pov|erty
Pronunciation: /ˈpɒvəti

Definition of poverty in English:


[mass noun]
1The state of being extremely poor: thousands of families are living in abject poverty
More example sentences
  • The results suggest that providing day care may be insufficient as a strategy to reduce poverty.
  • The new kind of poverty was in the process of acquiring a revolutionary quality.
  • Looking at this village now, it is hard to imagine the poverty that existed here 100 years ago.
1.1The renunciation of the right to individual ownership of property as part of a religious vow.
2The state of being inferior in quality or insufficient in amount: the poverty of her imagination
More example sentences
  • It shows a complete poverty of imagination and a vast amount of callousness.
  • She is up against poverty of imagination, prudishness, bigotry and ladies locked into pain.
  • The appointment is not a disaster, though it shows a poverty of imagination.


Middle English: from Old French poverte, from Latin paupertas, from pauper 'poor'.

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