Definition of poverty in English:


Syllabification: pov·er·ty
Pronunciation: /ˈpävərdē


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 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.
1.2The renunciation of the right to individual ownership of property as part of a religious vow.


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

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