poverty

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English, from Old French poverté (Modern French pauvreté), from Latin paupertās, from pauper (poor) + -tas (noun of state suffix). Cognates include pauper, poor.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

poverty (usually uncountable, plural poverties)

  1. The quality or state of being poor or indigent; want or scarcity of means of subsistence; indigence; need.
    • 2013 June 1, “Towards the end of poverty”, The Economist, volume 407, number 8838, page 11: 
      America’s poverty line is $63 a day for a family of four. In the richer parts of the emerging world $4 a day is the poverty barrier. But poverty’s scourge is fiercest below $1.25 (the average of the 15 poorest countries’ own poverty lines, measured in 2005 dollars and adjusted for differences in purchasing power): people below that level live lives that are poor, nasty, brutish and short.
  2. Any deficiency of elements or resources that are needed or desired, or that constitute richness; as, poverty of soil; poverty of the blood; poverty of ideas.

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Translations[edit]

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Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.