Definition of penniless in English:



  • (of a person) having no money; very poor.

    ‘a penniless young student’
    • ‘Senior partners in legal firms rubbed shoulders with penniless students and dedicated barflies.’
    • ‘Monet valued the comforts of a middle-class existence, and even as a penniless student his love of the finer things in life was noted.’
    • ‘She and her mother were left penniless after her father died, the family having earlier lost their home to river erosion.’
    • ‘I had used all the money to get to England so I was penniless in a foreign land with only the clothes on my back and my sword to my name.’
    • ‘They were penniless and Mary knew that a stage career was her only hope of survival.’
    • ‘Relocated to a contemporary setting, the story tells of a penniless prostitute chosen and gifted with wealth by the Gods.’
    • ‘A man meets a beautiful but penniless girl on a trip to Cuba.’
    • ‘We were completely penniless, with three young children, helpless in an unfamiliar city.’
    • ‘One hundred years ago, Montmartre was a cheap area to live in, and so attracted penniless artists.’
    • ‘He was under the impression the the hut committee had spent all of the memorial fund and that we were penniless.’
    • ‘I was penniless and facing bankruptcy and the prospect of being prosecuted in court for a whole range of civil and criminal offences.’
    • ‘I leapt into the car and in gratitude shot off to buy a box of chocolates for my saviours then realised I was penniless and cardless.’
    • ‘We were penniless and without shoes while people from the same hotel sat next to us in the airport flagrantly eating burgers and chips and drinking coke.’
    • ‘Mind you, I'm also filling up on all the industrial music that I couldn't afford when I was a penniless student.’
    • ‘As a result, many of them have had to resort to shooting kangaroos in order to sell the meat, as they are almost penniless.’
    • ‘Now back in it, they're left penniless and sometimes homeless.’
    • ‘Nearly one-third of filers claimed they were nearly penniless after paying these fees.’
    • ‘But after reputedly making millions from crime he says he's now penniless.’
    • ‘Her father's once prosperous business had fallen apart and they were left penniless due to their huge debts.’
    • ‘He also brought on board bankers who could help finance his schemes but things did not go well and he was soon penniless and having to borrow money.’
    poor, indigent, impoverished, penurious, impecunious, in penury, moneyless, without a sou, as poor as a church mouse, poverty-stricken, destitute, necessitous
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