Definition of poor mouth in English:

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poor mouth

North American & Irish informal


A person who claims to be poor in order to benefit from others: I am not crying the poor mouth but only telling it as it is
More example sentences
  • In a thoughtful interview he once gave to this newspaper, one in which he offered a stirring denouncement of sectarianism, Ricksen played the poor mouth in claiming that: ‘I'm only human.’
  • They've been crying the poor mouth ever since a raft of injuries from a round of club games consistently left them short of numbers in training and unable to complete the full programme that Morrison drew up after the Connacht final.
  • The poor mouth of last year will pay political dividends.


1 [with object] Talk disparagingly about: I used to poor-mouth corporate jets, but now that I’ve had the use of one I really appreciate it
More example sentences
  • New Zealanders do not appreciate so-called New Zealand leaders getting up and poor-mouthing their nation overseas?
  • In my view, there is nothing more treacherous than poor-mouthing one's country off shore to its material disadvantage.
  • Colorado coach Gary Barnett poor-mouthed his team before the Big 12 championship game as well as Lou Holtz ever did.
2 [no object] Claim to be poor: (as adjective poor-mouthing) the poor-mouthing museum is not exactly eager to publicize this good fortune
More example sentences
  • Public accounting firms may poor-mouth, but ‘the audit practice is not a loss-leader,’ says Lynn Turner, chief accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • O Criomhthain figures as triumphantly heroic, while Bonaparte and his family are exaggeratedly pathetic and miserable, as the poor-mouthing of the title already suggests.
  • In place of serious and measured lament, then, the book provokes more and more comedy at its promiscuous and preposterous poor-mouthing.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: poor mouth

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