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4 definitions found
 for poverty
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Poverty \Pov"er*ty\ (p[o^]v"[~e]r*t[y^]), n. [OE. poverte, OF.
     povert['e], F. pauvret['e], fr. L. paupertas, fr. pauper
     poor. See Poor.]
     1. The quality or state of being poor or indigent; want or
        scarcity of means of subsistence; indigence; need.
        "Swathed in numblest poverty." --Keble.
        [1913 Webster]
              The drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty.
                                                    --Prov. xxiii.
        [1913 Webster]
     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.
        [1913 Webster]
     Poverty grass (Bot.), a name given to several slender
        grasses (as Aristida dichotoma, and Danthonia spicata)
        which often spring up on old and worn-out fields.
        [1913 Webster]
     Syn: Indigence; penury; beggary; need; lack; want;
          scantiness; sparingness; meagerness; jejuneness.
     Usage: Poverty, Indigence, Pauperism. Poverty is a
            relative term; what is poverty to a monarch, would be
            competence for a day laborer. Indigence implies
            extreme distress, and almost absolute destitution.
            Pauperism denotes entire dependence upon public
            charity, and, therefore, often a hopeless and degraded
            [1913 Webster] Powan

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: the state of having little or no money and few or no
           material possessions [syn: poverty, poorness,
           impoverishment] [ant: wealth, wealthiness]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  44 Moby Thesaurus words for "poverty":
     beggary, dearth, destitution, difficulty, distress, embarrassment,
     exigency, hand-to-mouth existence, hardship, impecuniousness,
     impoverishment, inadequacy, indigence, insolvency, insufficiency,
     juncture, lack, mendicancy, necessity, need, neediness, pass,
     paucity, pauperism, pennilessness, penury, pinch, poorness,
     privation, rareness, rarity, scant, scant sufficiency, scantiness,
     scarceness, scarcity, shortage, sparseness, sparsity, strait,
     suffering, uncommonness, unprosperousness, want

From The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906) :

  POVERTY, n.  A file provided for the teeth of the rats of reform.  The
  number of plans for its abolition equals that of the reformers who
  suffer from it, plus that of the philosophers who know nothing about
  it.  Its victims are distinguished by possession of all the virtues
  and by their faith in leaders seeking to conduct them into a
  prosperity where they believe these to be unknown.

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