- begger (obsolete)
Alternative etymology derives Middle English beggere, beggare, beggar from Old French begart, originally a member of the Beghards, a lay brotherhood of mendicants in the Low Countries, from Middle Dutch beggaert (“mendicant”), with pejorative suffix (see -ard); the order is said to be named after the priest Lambert le Bègue of Liège (French for “Lambert the Stammerer”).
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈbɛɡɚ/
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈbɛɡə/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɛɡə(ɹ)
beggar (plural beggars)
- A person who begs.
1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 13, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
- “[…] They talk of you as if you were Croesus—and I expect the beggars sponge on you unconscionably.” And Vickers launched forth into a tirade very different from his platform utterances. He spoke with extreme contempt of the dense stupidity exhibited on all occasions by the working classes.
- 1983, Stanley Rosen, Plato’s Sophist: The Drama of Original & Image, St. Augustine’s Press, p. 62:
- Odysseus has returned to his home disguised as a beggar.
- A person suffering from extreme poverty.
- (colloquial, sometimes affectionate) A mean or wretched person; a scoundrel.
- What does that silly beggar think he's doing?
- (who begs): mendicant, panhandler, schnorrer, spanger, truant, see also Thesaurus:beggar
- (extremely poor person): palliard, pauper, vagabond, see also Thesaurus:pauper
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
- (transitive) To make a beggar of someone; impoverish.
- (transitive) To exhaust the resources of; to outdo.