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From earlier *popero, from Latin pauper, pauperem, from Proto-Indo-European *peh₂w- (few, small). Possibly borrowed from a Gallo-Italic language, where Latin /-p-/ > /v/ is a regular change, unlike in Italian.


  • IPA(key): /ˈpɔ.ve.ro/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɔvero
  • Hyphenation: pò‧ve‧ro


povero (feminine povera, masculine plural poveri, feminine plural povere, superlative poverissimo)

  1. poor (with little or no possessions or money)
    Antonym: ricco
    • 1512, Niccolò Machiavelli; Lettera a Francesco Vettori, (Please provide the book title or journal name):
      Nacqui povero, ed imparai prima a stentare che a godere.
      I was born poor and I learned how to live in hardship sooner than [I learned] how to enjoy.
  2. poor (to be pitied)


povero m (plural poveri, feminine povera)

  1. poor man, pauper
  2. (in the plural) the poor, the needy, poor people

Derived terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • povero in Treccani.it – Vocabolario Treccani on line, Istituto dell'Enciclopedia Italiana
  • Maiden, Martin. 1995. A linguistic history of Italian. London: Longman. Chapter 2, §7.2.