Definition of beggarly in English:



  • 1Pitifully or deplorably meagre or bad.

    ‘the stipend in 1522 was a beggarly 26 shillings’
    • ‘He uses weak and beggarly things like you and me so that the glory might redound to him alone.’
    • ‘Oh, ye crowds of rags and patches, frail, sinful and beggarly, what about it?’
    • ‘What man but a philosopher would not be ashamed to see his furniture packed in a cart and going up country exposed to the light of heaven and the eyes of men, a beggarly account of empty boxes?’
    • ‘A mere vagabond, idle person, hating labour, a drunkard, a sot, one of no spirit or forecast, delighting to live beggarly and carelessly, one content in no condition of life, either good or ill.’
    • ‘Or if anyone could contrive to return in beggarly disguise after ten years' maritime battering and see off all his swaggering rivals with a deliciously unexpected volte-face, Vick would be your man.’
    • ‘A beggarly tribute to all that is retrogressive, stupid, and mean.’
    meagre, modest, slight, lean, scant, scanty, skimpy, puny, inadequate, insufficient, insubstantial, miserly, paltry, pitiful, derisory, niggardly, ungenerous, miserable, contemptible, despicable
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  • 2Poverty-stricken; very poor.

    ‘his circumstances were beggarly’
    • ‘Ay, but Sir John, I think they are exceedingly poor and bare, too beggarly.’
    • ‘The passage cited above is full of nostalgia for the ‘heroic’ days of his beggarly existence in Paris.’
    • ‘The report of Dr. London nine days after the surrender, to the effect that the friary was a beggarly place and all that it contained would not suffice to pay its debts, is very much to the credit of this mendicant house.’
    • ‘The poor peasants, to whom my apparent poverty and my beggarly attire gave confidence, described their distress in that country where the soil does not produce every year enough grain to pay the pax in kind.’
    • ‘One of the beggarly, half-made societies of the world.’
    wretched, miserable, sordid, squalid, shabby, shoddy, mean, base, vile, foul, despicable, unpleasant
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