1. Having little or no wealth and few or no possessions.
2. Lacking in a specified resource or quality: an area poor in timber and coal; a diet poor in calcium.
3. Not adequate in quality; inferior: a poor performance.
a. Lacking in value; insufficient: poor wages.
b. Lacking in quantity: poor attendance.
5. Lacking fertility: poor soil.
6. Undernourished; lean.
7. Humble: a poor spirit.
8. Eliciting or deserving pity; pitiable: couldnt rescue the poor fellow.
n.(used with a pl. verb)
People with little or no wealth and possessions considered as a group: The urban poor are in need of homes.
[Middle English poure, from Old French povre, from Latin pauper; see pau-1 in Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: poor, indigent, needy, impecunious, penniless, impoverished, poverty-stricken, destitute These adjectives mean lacking the money or the means for an adequate or comfortable life. Poor is the most general: Resolve not to be poor: whatever you have, spend less. Poverty is a great enemy to human happiness (Samuel Johnson). Indigent and needy refer to one in need or want: indigent people living on the street; distributed food to needy families. Impecunious and penniless mean having little or no money: Certainly an impecunious Subaltern was not a catch (Rudyard Kipling). He made poor investments which left him penniless. One who is impoverished has been reduced to poverty: an impoverished, third-world country. Poverty-stricken means suffering from poverty and miserably poor: refugees living in poverty-stricken camps. Destitute means lacking any means of subsistence: tenants left destitute by the fire.
Usage Note: In informal speech poor is sometimes used as an adverb, as in They never played poorer. In formal usage more poorly would be required in this example.
poor /pr/ adj.1 with little or no money: That family is so poor, they cant afford to buy food.2 inferior, not good quality: The quality of those shoes is poor.3 worthy of pity, compassion: Poor Jane, her mother just died!4 without the necessary characteristics: The land around here is poor; crops wont grow.-adv.poorly. n.pl.the poor: the class of people with little or no money: Religions urge that people with money should give some to the poor.