• IPA: /ˈɪndɪd͡ʒənt/


  1. Poor; destitute; in need.
    • 1830, Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Thomas Ritchie (1830), page 422 ↗:
      Many of the indigent children are so badly provided for by their parents, with both food and raiment, that they cannot attend school regularly; […]
    • 1932, Edwin Arlington Robinson, Nicodemus, "Prodigal Son":
      And were I not a thing for you and me
      To execrate in angish, you would be
      As indigent a stranger to surprise,
      I fear, as I was once, and as unwise.
    • 1974, Guy Davenport, Tatlin!:
      I had since my introduction to the prince been sensitive to the fact that he must think an obviously indigent soldier of fortune will sooner or later open the subject of a subscription to the Greek Cause.
    • 2011, Carla Ulbrich, How Can You Not Laugh at a Time Like This?: Reclaim Your Health With Humor, Creativity, and Grit, Tell Me Press (2011), ISBN 9780981645346, page 65 ↗:
      Because of this, when my second major health fiasco happened, I had no insurance, so I went to a teaching hospital where they took indigent patients.
    • 2013, Larry J. Siegel & John L. Worral, Essentials of Criminal Justice, Wadsworth (2013), ISBN 9781111835569, page 162 ↗:
      In numerous Supreme Court decisions since Gideon v. Wainwright, the states have been required to provide counsel for indigent defendants at virtually all other stages of the criminal process, beginning with arrest and concluding with the defendant's release from the system.
  2. (archaic) Utterly lacking or in need of something specified.
    • 1620, Francis Bacon, Instauratio Magnus, Part III, Section ii, subsection "Liquifaction":
      Again some Bodies dissolve both in Fire and Water, as Gums; &c. And these are such, as have both Plenty of Spirit; and their tangible Parts indigent of Moisture: the former promotes the Dilatation of the Spirits by the Fire and the latter stimulates the Parts to receive the Liquor.
    • 1701, Richard Steele, ''The Funeral: or, Grief A-la-mode, ActII, sc. 1:
      Will Providence guard us? How do I ſee that our Sex is naturally Indigent of Protection?—I hope it is in Fate to crown our Loves; for 'tis only in the Protection of Men of Honour, that we are naturally truly Safe […]
Synonyms Antonyms Translations Noun

indigent (plural indigents)

  1. A person in need, or in poverty.
    • 1975, Robertson Davies, World of Wonders, Penguin Books (1976), ISBN 0140043896, page 161 ↗:
      I liked the streets best, so I walked and stared, and slept in a Salvation Army hostel for indigents. But I was no indigent; I was rich in feeling, and that was a luxury I had rarely known.
    • 2009, Mara Vorhees, Moscow, Lonely Planet (2009), ISBN 9781740598248, page 29 ↗:
      The influx of indigents overwhelmed the city's meagre social services and affordable accommodation.
    • 2011, Michael Parenti, Democracy for the Few, Wadsworth (2011), ISBN 9780495911265, page 78 ↗:
      Then in 2005 a Republican-led Congress passed a bill requiring millions of low-income people to pay higher co-payments and premiums under Medicaid. The result was that many more indigents had to forgo care.
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