• WordNet 3.6
    • n poorness the quality of being poorly made or maintained "she was unrecognizable because of the poorness of the photography"
    • n poorness the quality of being meager "an exiguity of cloth that would only allow of miniature capes"-George Eliot"
    • n poorness less than adequate "the relative poorness of New England farmland"
    • n poorness the state of having little or no money and few or no material possessions
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Seeing the Poor Devils Who Had Gone Broke 166 Seeing the Poor Devils Who Had Gone Broke 166
Poor old Robinson Crusoe Poor old Robinson Crusoe
Poor creeter! it wuz too bad that there should be so many of 'em Poor creeter! it wuz too bad that there should be so many of 'em
The "Six Poor Travellers" The "Six Poor Travellers"
The "Six Poor Travellers" from the Rear The "Six Poor Travellers" from the Rear
A Dormitory in the "Six Poor Travellers" and Gallery Leading to the Dormitories A Dormitory in the "Six Poor Travellers" and Gallery Leading to the Dormitories
The Wolf attacks the poor Grandmother The Wolf attacks the poor Grandmother

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: 70% of the poor people in the world are female
    • n Poorness The quality or state of being poor (in any of the senses of the adjective).
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Better wine can be produced by the soil being of poor quality. This is because the vines have to "work" harder
    • n poorness The state, condition, or quality of being poor, in any of the senses of the word; poverty; meanness.
    • ***


  • Gilbert K. Chesterton
    “The honest poor can sometimes forget poverty. The honest rich can never forget it.”
  • Finley Peter Dunne
    “One of the strangest things about life is that the poor, who need the money the most, are the ones that never have it.”
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
    “Poverty consist in feeling poor.”
  • Charles Fillmore
    Charles Fillmore
    “It is a sin to be poor.”
  • Benjamin Franklin
    “Having been poor is no shame, but being ashamed of it, is.”
  • Thomas Fuller
    “Poor men's reasons are not heard.”


A poor man's something - Something or someone that can be compared to something or someone else, but is not as good is a poor man's version; a writer who uses lots of puns but isn't very funny would be a poor man's Oscar Wilde.
Poor as a church mouse - If someone is as poor as a church mouse, they are very poor indeed.
Root hog or die poor - (USA) It's a expression used in the Southern USA that means that you must look out for yourself as no one's going to do it for you. (It can be shortened to 'root hog'. A hog is a pig.)


In literature:

They were poor, always poor, and could never succeed.
"The Prairie Wife" by Arthur Stringer
The poor girl looked round her on all sides, and seemed half afraid, half desirous, of being followed.
"The Vicomte de Bragelonne" by Alexandre Dumas
Poor Dandy and poor Flirt!
"Can You Forgive Her?" by Anthony Trollope
Men who went into the Council poor came out of it rich.
"Lights and Shadows of New York Life" by James D. McCabe
I was, and my poor friend is my poor self.
"The Eternal City" by Hall Caine
Wisha, your reverence might have a copper about you to help a poor lone widow?
"My New Curate" by P.A. Sheehan
Well; the little girl with the rose-colored bonnet, whom you saw riding in the carriage, is a poor little cripple.
"Little Ferns For Fanny's Little Friends" by Fanny Fern
Come, Muster Jennings, don't break jokes upon a poor man's back.
"The Complete Prose Works of Martin Farquhar Tupper" by Martin Farquhar Tupper
Release poor Langdon from prison, and go pay penance over the grave of his poor wife.
"An Outcast" by F. Colburn Adams
Poor Lady Margot, poor everybody whom Victor did not love as he loved herself!
"The Fortunes of the Farrells" by Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

In poetry:

For a poor flash of pride,
A cold word spoken,
Love shall not be denied,
Or long troth broken.
"The Quarrel" by Richard Le Gallienne
They said, "Good by Nursey."
She said "Come again
To see poor old Nursey,
Who lives in the lane"
"Old Nursery" by Eliza Lee Follen
Why then, poor stricken soul!
Why dost thou grieve?
Thou knowest, smitten soul!
Time will relieve.
"Songs Of The Season" by Alexander Bathgate
I dared--Thy poor hand-maiden--
Not ask a prophet-child:
Only a boy-babe laden
For earth--and mild.
"Mary At Nazareth" by Cale Young Rice
Though it died the next night,
She could pass it, and say,
"Poor thing—'twas my love
Of yesterday."
"The Dew-Drop: A Metrical Fantasy" by Samuel Lover
ALAS, ye poor Armenians !
In undeserved distress
Ye wander forth to slavery,
In want and wretchedness.
"The Exiles" by Leo Alishan

In news:

Poor Performance Leaves Redskins' Defense at a Loss .
Here are four scenarios where sustaining a poor performer can help the business grow.
Are the poor a good investment.
Barca 's Great Start Masks Poor Defensive Record.
Freezing temperatures and poor defending cost Barcelona as the defending Spanish champion's league hopes took a big hit after losing 3-2 at Osasuna on Saturday.
Drugs companies and poor countries.
The Poor Bastard 's SF Almanac.
The Dismemberment Plan, Poor But Sexy, and Batala @ 9:30 Club.
Poor pitchers: Looks like a batty finish to World Series.
Hotel Palomar Philadelphia, a place for Poor Richard and lucky me.
Muhammad Yunus won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for his pioneering work fighting poverty in his homeland, Bangladesh, where he lends money to poor women to start businesses.
Lenore De Pree, author of "Ninety Brothers and Sisters," will be at the shop at 4:30 pm Monday, Nov 12, to discuss her book about growing up poor in Appalachia.
From Standard & Poor's Equity Research.
It seems quite a few centipede lawns are looking poorly this spring.
The employees worked in human resources, a department that has been criticized for operating poorly and being ineffective.

In science:

Thus, to within the measurement errors, and over the range where the GC and stellar data overlap, the metal-poor GCs in both cases seem to trace the rotation of the underlying galaxy.
Dynamics of the Globular Cluster System Associated with M49 (NGC4472): Cluster Orbital Properties and the Distribution of Dark Matter
However our poor knowledge of the atmospheric physics involved, as well as the complexity of models coupling stellar interiors to the winds, are such that this approach is not yet possible.
Stellar evolution with rotation X: Wolf-Rayet star populations at solar metallicity
Finally, in this section we note that the asymptotic estimate of sn is, as might be expected, a poor approximation.
The enumeration of simple permutations
There are many open questions concerning this wetting transition, which is very poorly understood (mathematically).
Localization-delocalization phenomena for random interfaces
It is obvious from this plot that the results by Geissler and Reichman indeed demonstrate that a second order mode coupling theory gives a poor approximation for the location of the glass transition.
Comment on "The nature of slow dynamics in a minimal model of frustration limited domains" by P. L. Geissler and D. R. Reichman, cond-mat/0304254