One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The state of being extremely poor.‘thousands of families are living in abject poverty’
penury, destitution, indigence, pennilessness, privation, deprivation, impoverishment, neediness, need, want, hardship, impecuniousness, impecuniosity, hand-to-mouth existence, beggary, pauperism, straitened circumstances, bankruptcy, insolvencyView synonyms
- ‘It was dirty, full of poverty, and the politics were full of corruption.’
- ‘The new kind of poverty was in the process of acquiring a revolutionary quality.’
- ‘People looked to religion for some hope in the face of poverty and oppression brought by colonialism.’
- ‘That is because poverty degrades individuals and robs them of dignity and worth.’
- ‘This is the only humane approach to those fleeing violence, poverty and oppression.’
- ‘He also said it was the responsibility of governments and world leaders to stop global poverty.’
- ‘The results suggest that providing day care may be insufficient as a strategy to reduce poverty.’
- ‘This film captures the claustrophobic feeling of people struggling against violence and poverty.’
- ‘Many men and women came to these cities from rural poverty, hoping to find a decent living.’
- ‘Looking at this village now, it is hard to imagine the poverty that existed here 100 years ago.’
- ‘And I fully accept that we really do need to tackle the question of global poverty.’
- ‘A life of poverty, tradition and religious dread suffuses songs steeped in misery and learnt by word of mouth.’
- ‘If we want to do something about child poverty, we should be spending more on social programs.’
- ‘Cultural programs have suffered as a result of poverty and political upheaval.’
- ‘Mobility and migration across borders are often prompted by poverty and violence.’
- ‘This is a film, set in contemporary Italy, where the poverty and way of life gives it a timeless quality.’
- ‘He did not come to save his people from aimlessness, poverty or political adversity.’
- ‘A lot of talented students are unable to complete their studies because of poverty.’
- ‘You can prosecute a few people but as long as there is poverty, corruption will continue to exist.’
- ‘It is hard to imagine the horrors of war, crippling poverty or injustice where we live.’
- 1.1 The renunciation of the right to individual ownership of property as part of a religious vow.
2The state of being inferior in quality or insufficient in amount.‘the poverty of her imagination’
scarcity, deficiency, dearth, shortage, paucity, insufficiency, inadequacy, absence, lack, want, deficit, meagreness, limitedness, restrictedness, sparseness, sparsityinferiority, mediocrity, poorness, barrenness, aridity, sterilityView synonyms
- ‘It shows a complete poverty of imagination and a vast amount of callousness.’
- ‘She is up against poverty of imagination, prudishness, bigotry and ladies locked into pain.’
- ‘It captures the simmering rage and imaginative poverty that was part of the Thatcherite psyche.’
- ‘The appointment is not a disaster, though it shows a poverty of imagination.’
Middle English: from Old French poverte, from Latin paupertas, from pauper ‘poor’.
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