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penury Syllabification: pen·u·ry
Pronunciation: /ˈpenyərē/

Definition of penury in English:


Extreme poverty; destitution: he died in a state of virtual penury
More example sentences
  • Now, as then, a government is reducing its citizens to penury as they are deprived of their income and homes.
  • Perhaps it was unavoidable, yet it was a road that led past ruin, default and penury, through the plunder of Russia and the impoverishment of Russians.
  • Bastille Day in France commemorates the French Revolution and reminds us of one of the most unpleasant and blood-soaked regimes ever to have reduced a country to penury.
extreme poverty, destitution, pennilessness, impecuniousness, impoverishment, indigence, pauperism, privation, beggary


Late Middle English: from Latin penuria 'need, scarcity'; perhaps related to paene 'almost'.

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