Definition of indigent in English:



  • Poor; needy.

    ‘a charity for the relief of indigent artists’
    • ‘Besides learning criminal law, he learnt to investigate cases of police torture and providing free legal aid to the poor and indigent prisoners.’
    • ‘The state's indigent defender program is in desperate need of reform, but change is being blocked by powerful political players with a vested interest in maintaining the system as it is.’
    • ‘The number of indigent poor, 6 million people, is now twice what it was 10 years ago.’
    • ‘He would get appointed either a public defender or he would have some kind of indigent defense counsel that would be appointed for him.’
    • ‘It's the tag that has stuck to several senior citizens in this rural town who provide lunch once per week for about 100 indigent persons.’
    • ‘They cannot persuasively argue that indigent boat people, fleeing poverty and persecution, represent a terrorist threat.’
    • ‘Instead, they say, it has actually increased the gap between rich and poor countries and between well-off and indigent inhabitants within countries.’
    • ‘Legal aid for indigent plaintiffs in the civil process is non-existent, the report said.’
    • ‘He would say ‘I grew up as an orphan and I emigrated as a poor and indigent person.’’
    • ‘The social package forms a critical part of the council's indigent policy, which enables destitute households to apply for exemption from paying rates.’
    • ‘As the number of indigent defendants soared, so did costs to the counties, since most used court-appointed lawyers paid by the case or by the hour.’
    • ‘If poverty leads to lead exposure, and lead abets crime and poor health, then lead can be said to nudge indigent people toward crimes.’
    • ‘We now had homeless, that we never had 25 years ago (someone always took care of indigent relatives).’
    • ‘The beneficiaries included indigent persons such as the visually challenged man who lived with his family in the claustrophobic confines of a public call booth.’
    • ‘I would also help out indigent inmates whenever I could afford to.’
    • ‘When the singer applied for the pension for indigent artistes, the request was denied on the grounds that he did not have a permanent residential address in Kerala.’
    • ‘For hospitals in border states, a disproportionate number of these indigent ER patients are illegal immigrants.’
    • ‘I'm a 25-year-old man with no wife, girlfriend, indigent friends or relatives.’
    poor, impecunious, destitute, penniless, impoverished, poverty-stricken, down and out, pauperized, without a penny to one's name, without two farthings to rub together, without two pennies to rub together
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  • A needy person.

    • ‘There is a fondness for its indigents in Wellington I have never seen in any other community.’
    • ‘As Christianity became the official state religion of the Roman Empire during the fourth century, missionaries spread to Britain and began converting the indigents to that faith.’
    • ‘In both regions vital religious traditions provided essential social services, including care for widows, orphans, and other indigents.’
    • ‘Like any other big city, Paris has its fair share of indigents, begging in public places.’
    • ‘During hard times, league offices kept indigents like the Browns alive by providing handouts.’
    • ‘It is a state and federal welfare program providing coverage to far less politically potent patient groups: indigents, the disabled, and nursing home residents.’
    • ‘Automatons, illiterates and indigents of every shape and size, don't stop but aid this cruel crusade participate in their own demise.’
    • ‘Indeed, some 15,000 indigents from 5,000 households registered with the Welfare Bureau of the Thirteenth Arrondissement during the winter of 1868-69.’
    • ‘One of our many concerns and challenges is identifying indigents.’
    • ‘If California eliminated all college funding, closed the prisons and refused health care to all indigents, it could save $23.9 billion.’
    • ‘The earliest pronouncements of the Committee concern fundraising efforts to meet the immediate needs of the indigents in the streets.’
    • ‘At this time there were already 24,000 Jews in Palestine, mainly elderly indigents seeking expiry in the holy land.’
    • ‘He said the city's rampant unemployment rate and indigents were some of the factors that should be considered.’
    • ‘In some states paralegals and law clerks that work on civil rights and civil litigation cases are paid more than attorneys who represent indigents in capital cases.’
    • ‘The statistics of the indigents within our municipalities would determine and justify their national equitable share.’
    • ‘The Los Angeles County public hospital system nowadays mostly treats indigents: It was designed to treat everyone.’
    • ‘Serious instances had emerged where indigents were on the verge of losing their houses and the city council had to act.’
    • ‘In practice, the Committee targeted dark-skinned indigents and showed remarkably little interest in their origin, occupation, or prospects.’
    • ‘Others talked of their work with the homeless, indigents, and AIDS patients in D.C.’
    • ‘He mingles among indigents and Mercedes drivers alike with gestures of acceptance and welcome.’
    poor person, pauper, indigent, bankrupt, insolvent
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Late Middle English: via Old French from late Latin indigent- ‘lacking’, from the verb indigere, from indi- (strengthened form of in- ‘into’) + egere ‘to need’.