Definition of meager in English:

meager

(British meagre)

adjective

  • 1(of something provided or available) lacking in quantity or quality.

    ‘they were forced to supplement their meager earnings’
    ‘a meager diet of bread and beans’
    • ‘Through the solid floor of the abode, the chill of winter seeped in, fettered little by the meagre warmth provided by the fire.’
    • ‘He had laid off some heavy bets recently and his meagre earnings as a postman would not cover them.’
    • ‘Shadowy clouds completely obscured the moon, leaving a meager handful of stars to vainly attempt to provide light.’
    • ‘Long waiting lists, a meagre state health budget and inadequate hospital services prompted the three men to raise cash and build their own hospital on the southside of Dublin.’
    • ‘While they wait for the train, the prisoners eat their meager ration of bread.’
    • ‘Its greatest weakness is its meager budget and limited scope.’
    • ‘All the same he would queue up with the other drones for hours to receive his meagre earnings.’
    • ‘Earnings on this level fall to a meagre three cents a share.’
    • ‘The profligate US government, it was said, could not finance its deficits from the meager savings of its people, thereby necessitating borrowing from abroad.’
    • ‘And from what I've seen, you're pretty content with your meagre wardrobe.’
    • ‘Colin Farrell, the latest Irish actor to make it in Hollywood, might command millions for a movie, but other Irish actors are struggling on meagre wages in theatre and television at home.’
    • ‘The institutions' motivation is obvious: they are thinking about what you'll be earning in ten years time, rather than the meagre sums many students earn now.’
    • ‘A staggering 71% of workers in the industry don't even have access to a pension at work and many will be reliant on a meagre state pension to provide their retirement income.’
    • ‘Shadows offered only meagre protection, but it was protection I was thankful for as I listened to her footsteps come down the hall toward me, the steps slow and measured.’
    • ‘Although she was managing to get by on the meagre salary she drew tutoring primary-school children after school, it most likely wouldn't last.’
    • ‘I was being jerked around in my seat like a rag doll and in fear I reached for the dash to provide some form of meagre support.’
    • ‘Its meager light provided the group its only means of illumination.’
    • ‘He began to drink heavily, left London in 1914, and spent the rest of his life roaming around Ireland, living off meagre earnings from hastily scribbled articles and stories.’
    • ‘In a household where one of the parents was a newly graduated professor of linguistics and the other an artist, income was usually rather meagre and spasmodic in nature.’
    • ‘The big winner (or big loser, depending on your perspective) wins $50,000, a suitably meagre sum for a Canadian game show.’
    inadequate, scanty, scant, paltry, limited, restricted, modest, insufficient, sparse, spare, deficient, negligible, insubstantial, skimpy, short, little, lean, small, slight, slender, poor, miserable, pitiful, puny, miserly, niggardly, beggarly
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    1. 1.1 (of a person or animal) lean; thin.
      ‘a tall, meager man’
      • ‘We had no idea who she was, and only her meager profile gave proof that she was in fact female beneath the armor.’
      • ‘She had a slim and meager body, her neck was long, and her cheekbones were easily distinguished.’
      • ‘The gutters were choked with inedible refuse: sticks, feathers, rags, skeletons of animals that had been boiled for their meager flesh.’
      • ‘She seemed so meagre and weak, like her body had lost that glow.’
      thin, thin as a rake, lean, skinny, spare, scrawny, scraggy, gangling, gangly, spindly, stringy, lanky, reedy, bony, raw-boned, gaunt, underweight, emaciated, skeletal, starved, underfed, undernourished, attenuated, wraithlike, cadaverous, wasted, anorexic
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Origin

Middle English (in the sense ‘lean’): from Old French maigre, from Latin macer.

Pronunciation

meager

/ˈmēɡər//ˈmiɡər/