Synonyms of poor in English:


See definition of poor


1‘a poor family’


poverty-stricken, impoverished, necessitous, beggarly, in penury, penurious, impecunious, indigent, needy, needful, in need, in want, badly off, low-paid, in reduced circumstances, in straitened circumstances, destitute, hard up, short of money, on one's beam-ends, unable to make ends meet, underprivileged, deprived, penniless, without a sou, as poor as a church mouse, moneyless

bankrupt, bust, insolvent, in debt, in the red

British on the breadline, without a penny, without a penny to one's name

informal broke, flat broke, cleaned out, strapped for cash, strapped, on one's uppers, without two pennies to rub together, without two farthings to rub together, without two brass farthings to rub together

British informal stony broke, skint, in Queer Street

North American informal stone broke

North American informal craptastic

rare pauperized, beggared


rich, wealthy

2‘poor workmanship’


substandard, below standard, below par, bad, deficient, defective, faulty, imperfect, inferior, mediocre

abject, appalling, abysmal, atrocious, awful, terrible, dismal, dreadful, unsatisfactory, low-grade, second-rate, third-rate, jerry-built, shoddy, crude, tinny, trashy, rubbishy, miserable, wretched, disappointing, lamentable, deplorable, pitiful, inadequate, insufficient, unacceptable, execrable, frightful

informal crummy, dire, bum, diabolical, rotten, sad, tatty, tenth-rate

British informal ropy, duff, rubbish, pants, a load of pants, grotty

US informal weak sauce

North American informal craptacular

vulgar slang crap, crappy

archaic direful

rare egregious



3‘a poor crop of apples’


meagre, scanty, scant, paltry, limited, disappointing, restricted, reduced, modest, insufficient, inadequate, sparse, spare, deficient, negligible, insubstantial, skimpy, short, little, lean, small, slight, slender

miserable, lamentable, pitiful, puny, niggardly, beggarly

informal measly, stingy, pathetic, piddling

rare exiguous


satisfactory, good

4‘poor soil’


unproductive, barren, unyielding, unfruitful, uncultivatable

depleted, exhausted, bare, arid, sterile

rare infecund

North American rare hardscrabble


fertile, productive

5‘tropical oceanic waters are generally poor in nutrients’


deficient in, lacking, lacking in, wanting, wanting in, short of, short on, low on, missing, with an insufficiency of, with too few …, with too little …


rich in

6‘you poor thing’


unfortunate, unlucky, luckless, unhappy, hapless, ill-fated, ill-starred, pitiable, pitiful, wretched