Definition of destitution in US English:

destitution

noun

  • Poverty so extreme that one lacks the means to provide for oneself.

    ‘the family faced eviction and destitution’
    • ‘If in two months stories of starvation and destitution continue to emerge out of Aceh, severe criticism will rain down on the government.’
    • ‘They are by far the largest group amongst the fifth of India's population who live in extreme poverty and destitution.’
    • ‘More than two million other people from Darfur are in extreme destitution, immediately requiring aid.’
    • ‘In fact the utter destitution of the desperate was not just predicted: it was planned for.’
    • ‘Seaweed farming was an important part of the Japanese farmers' diets and after suffering years of unreliable harvests they were facing destitution.’
    dire poverty, extreme poverty, poverty, impoverishment, insolvency, penury, pennilessness, impecuniousness, privation, indigence, ruin, ruination, pauperdom
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Pronunciation

destitution

/ˌdɛstəˈt(j)uʃ(ə)n//ˌdestəˈt(y)o͞oSH(ə)n/