• (Australia, New Zealand) IPA: /poː/
  • (Canada) IPA: /pʊɹ/, /puɹ/, /pɔɹ/
  • (RP)
    • IPA: /pʊə(ɹ)/, /pɔː(ɹ)/
  • (America)
    • IPA: /pʊɹ/, /pɔɹ/

poor (comparative poorer, superlative poorest)

  1. With no or few possessions or money, particularly in relation to contemporaries who do have them.
    We were so poor that we couldn't afford shoes.
  2. Of low quality.
    That was a poor performance.
  3. Used to express pity.
    Oh you poor little thing.
    • 1913, Mrs. [Marie] Belloc Lowndes, chapter I, in The Lodger, London: Methuen, OCLC 7780546 ↗; republished in Novels of Mystery: The Lodger; The Story of Ivy; What Really Happened, New York, N.Y.: Longmans, Green and Co., […], [1933], OCLC 2666860 ↗, page 0056 ↗:
      Thanks to that penny he had just spent so recklessly [on a newspaper] he would pass a happy hour, taken, for once, out of his anxious, despondent, miserable self. It irritated him shrewdly to know that these moments of respite from carking care would not be shared with his poor wife, with careworn, troubled Ellen.
  4. Deficient in a specified way.
    Cow's milk is poor in iron.
  5. Inadequate, insufficient.
    I received a poor reward for all my hard work.
    • That I have wronged no man will be a poor plea or apology at the last day.
  6. Free from self-assertion; not proud or arrogant; meek.
    • Bible, Gospel of Matthew 5:3
      Blessed are the poor in spirit.
  • (with no or few possessions or money) seeSynonyms en
  • (of low quality) inferior
  • (to be pitied) pitiable, arm#Etymology_2|arm
Antonyms Translations Translations Translations Noun
  1. (with "the") Those who have little or no possessions or money, taken as a group.
    The poor are always with us.

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