Definition of penniless in US English:

penniless

adjective

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

    • ‘I was penniless and facing bankruptcy and the prospect of being prosecuted in court for a whole range of civil and criminal offences.’
    • ‘We were completely penniless, with three young children, helpless in an unfamiliar city.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Nearly one-third of filers claimed they were nearly penniless after paying these fees.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Relocated to a contemporary setting, the story tells of a penniless prostitute chosen and gifted with wealth by the Gods.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Senior partners in legal firms rubbed shoulders with penniless students and dedicated barflies.’
    • ‘As a result, many of them have had to resort to shooting kangaroos in order to sell the meat, as they are almost penniless.’
    • ‘Mind you, I'm also filling up on all the industrial music that I couldn't afford when I was a penniless student.’
    • ‘They were penniless and Mary knew that a stage career was her only hope of survival.’
    • ‘A man meets a beautiful but penniless girl on a trip to Cuba.’
    • ‘Her father's once prosperous business had fallen apart and they were left penniless due to their huge debts.’
    • ‘One hundred years ago, Montmartre was a cheap area to live in, and so attracted penniless artists.’
    • ‘Now back in it, they're left penniless and sometimes homeless.’
    • ‘But after reputedly making millions from crime he says he's now penniless.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He was under the impression the the hut committee had spent all of the memorial fund and that we were penniless.’
    • ‘She and her mother were left penniless after her father died, the family having earlier lost their home to river erosion.’
    poor, indigent, impoverished, penurious, impecunious, in penury, moneyless, without a sou, as poor as a church mouse, poverty-stricken, destitute, necessitous
    View synonyms

Pronunciation

penniless

/ˈpenēləs//ˈpɛniləs/