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3 definitions found
 for penury
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Penury \Pen"u*ry\, n. [L. penuria; cf. Gr. ? hunger, ? poverty,
     need, ? one who works for his daily bread, a poor man, ? to
     work for one's daily bread, to be poor: cf. F. p['e]nurie.]
     1. Absence of resources; want; privation; indigence; extreme
        poverty; destitution. "A penury of military forces."
        [1913 Webster]
              They were exposed to hardship and penury. --Sprat.
        [1913 Webster]
              It arises in neither from penury of thought.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. Penuriousness; miserliness. [Obs.] --Jer. Taylor.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: a state of extreme poverty or destitution; "their indigence
           appalled him"; "a general state of need exists among the
           homeless" [syn: indigence, need, penury, pauperism,

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  27 Moby Thesaurus words for "penury":
     bare cupboard, bare subsistence, beggarliness, beggary,
     deprivation, destitution, empty purse, grinding poverty, gripe,
     hand-to-mouth existence, homelessness, impecuniousness,
     impoverishment, indigence, lack, mendicancy, moneylessness,
     necessitousness, necessity, need, neediness, pauperism,
     pauperization, pinch, poorness, privation, want

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