Definition of destitution in US English:



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

    ‘the family faced eviction and destitution’
    • ‘They are by far the largest group amongst the fifth of India's population who live in extreme poverty and destitution.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If in two months stories of starvation and destitution continue to emerge out of Aceh, severe criticism will rain down on the government.’
    • ‘More than two million other people from Darfur are in extreme destitution, immediately requiring aid.’
    dire poverty, extreme poverty, poverty, impoverishment, insolvency, penury, pennilessness, impecuniousness, privation, indigence, ruin, ruination, pauperdom
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