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poverty

Syllabification: pov·er·ty
Pronunciation: /ˈpävərdē
 
/

Definition of poverty in English:

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

Origin

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

More
  • poor from (Middle English):

    The Latin word for ‘poor’ pauper, is the base of pauper (early 16th century), poverty (Middle English), and poor. The phrase poor as a church mouse, or ‘extremely poor’, comes from the notion that a church mouse must be particularly deprived as it does not have the opportunity to find pickings from a kitchen or larder, and there are few crumbs to be found in a well-swept church. You sometimes hear a wealthy young person whose money appears to bring them no happiness described as poor little rich girl (or boy). Though he did not coin the phrase, Noël Coward certainly popularized it with his 1925 song ‘Poor Little Rich Girl’.

Definition of poverty in:

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