poverty


poverty
poverty, indigence, penury, want, destitution, privation all denote the state of one who is poor or without enough to live upon.
Poverty, the most comprehensive of these terms, typically implies such deficiency of resources that one is deprived of many of the necessities and of all of the comforts of life
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in Syria he feathered his nest so successfully that in two years he raised himself from poverty to opulence— Buchan

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complaining of his poverty as if it were a new invention and he its first victim— Malamud

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Indigence, often opposed to affluence, does not suggest dire or absolute poverty, but it does imply reduced or straitened circumstances and therefore usually connotes the endurance of many hardships and the lack of comforts
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reduced to indigence in his old age

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our newfound European indigence now makes us more materialistic than we used to pride ourselves on being— Times Lit. Sup.

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Penury may or may not imply abject poverty, but it does suggest such a degree of need, especially of money, that one is cramped or oppressed by it
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chill Penury repressed their noble rage— Gray

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she has to take anything she can get in the way of a husband rather than face penuryShaw

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But penury may imply the semblance of poverty that comes from miserliness or penuriousness (compare penurious under STINGY)
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her relatives considered that the penury of her table discredited the Mingott name, which had always been associated with good living— Wharton

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Want (see also LACK) and destitution both imply an extreme of poverty that leaves one without the basic necessities of life; both terms, but especially the latter, often imply starvation and homelessness or the urgent need of help
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he is in great want

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here to the homeless child of want my door is open still— Goldsmith

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sinking stage by stage from indigence to squalor, from squalor to grimy destitutionMumford

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Privation, though implying a state that is comparable to the one suggested by indigence, does not, as the latter term does, necessarily suggest poverty ; although it implies a condition of being without many of the comforts and sometimes of the necessities of existence or having only an insufficient supply of them, it may connote another cause of such a condition than a lack of money or of possessions of value
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an explorer must undergo prolonged privations

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months of privation after the crop failure had left them ill-nour- ished

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Analogous words: necessity, *need, exigency: strait, pass, pinch (see JUNCTURE)
Antonyms: riches

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

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  • Poverty — • Discusses poverty as a concept and canonical discipline Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Poverty     Poverty     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Poverty — Pov er*ty (p[o^]v [ e]r*t[y^]), n. [OE. poverte, OF. povert[ e], F. pauvret[ e], fr. L. paupertas, fr. pauper poor. See {Poor}.] 1. The quality or state of being poor or indigent; want or scarcity of means of subsistence; indigence; need. Swathed …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • poverty — pov‧er‧ty [ˈpɒvəti ǁ ˈpɑːvərti] noun [uncountable] 1. the situation or experience of being poor: • 86% of the population lives in poverty. • a major anti poverty initiative 2. the poverty line the income below which people are officially… …   Financial and business terms

  • poverty — [päv′ər tē] n. [ME poverte < OFr povreté < L paupertas < pauper, POOR] 1. the condition or quality of being poor; indigence; need 2. deficiency in necessary properties or desirable qualities, or in a specific quality, etc.; inadequacy… …   English World dictionary

  • poverty — late 12c., from O.Fr. poverte, from L. paupertatem (nom. paupertas) poverty, from pauper (see POOR (Cf. poor)). Seeing so much poverty everywhere makes me think that God is not rich. He gives the appearance of it, but I suspect some financial… …   Etymology dictionary

  • poverty — poverty, poorness Poverty is the usual noun corresponding to poor in its meanings to do with lack of wealth or lack of things regarded like wealth (e.g. poverty of inspiration). Poorness is not often used and is more usual in meanings to do with… …   Modern English usage

  • poverty — I noun absence, bare subsistence, beggarliness, beggary, dearth, deficiency, deficit, depletion, destitution, difficulty, distress, embarrassed circumstances, exigency, famine, humbleness, impecuniosity, impecuniousness, impoverishment, indigence …   Law dictionary

  • poverty — [n] want; extreme need, often financial abjection, aridity, bankruptcy, barrenness, beggary, dearth, debt, deficiency, deficit, depletion, destitution, difficulty, distress, emptiness, exiguity, famine, hardship, impecuniousness, impoverishment,… …   New thesaurus

  • poverty — ► NOUN 1) the state of being extremely poor. 2) the state of being insufficient in amount. ORIGIN Old French poverte, from Latin pauper poor …   English terms dictionary

  • Poverty — Street children sleeping in Mulberry Street – Jacob Riis photo New York, United States (1890) Poverty is the state of one who lacks a certain amount of material possessions or money.[1] Absolute poverty or destitution is inability to afford …   Wikipedia