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penury Line breaks: pen¦ury
Pronunciation: /ˈpɛnjʊri/

Definition of penury in English:


[mass noun]
The state of being very poor; extreme poverty: he couldn’t face another year of 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.


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

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