• WordNet 3.6
    • adj poorly somewhat ill or prone to illness "my poor ailing grandmother","feeling a bit indisposed today","you look a little peaked","feeling poorly","a sickly child","is unwell and can't come to work"
    • adv poorly (`ill' is often used as a combining form) in a poor or improper or unsatisfactory manner; not well "he was ill prepared","it ill befits a man to betray old friends","the car runs badly","he performed badly on the exam","the team played poorly","ill-fitting clothes","an ill-conceived plan"
    • ***

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
    • Poorly In a poor manner or condition; without plenty, or sufficiency, or suitable provision for comfort; as, to live poorly .
    • Poorly Meanly; without spirit. "Nor is their courage or their wealth so low,
      That from his wars they poorly would retire."
    • a Poorly Somewhat ill; indisposed; not in health. "Having been poorly in health."
    • Poorly With little or no success; indifferently; with little profit or advantage; as, to do poorly in business.
    • Poorly Without skill or merit; as, he performs poorly .
    • ***
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
    • poorly Somewhat ill; indisposed; not in health; unwell.
    • poorly In a poor manner or condition. In indigence or want of the conveniences and comforts of life: as, to live poorly.
    • poorly With little or no success; insufficiently; defectively: as, poorly constructed; poorly adapted to the purpose.
    • poorly Humbly; without spirit; ignobly.
    • ***


  • Anne Sophie Swetchine
    “We are rich only through what we give; and poor only through we refuse and keep.”
  • Thales of Miletus
    Thales of Miletus
    “Hope is the poor man's bread.”
  • Sholom Aleichem
    Sholom Aleichem
    “Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich, a tragedy for the poor.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “Live poor so you can die rich.”
  • W. C. Fields
    “A rich man is nothing but a poor man with money.”
  • Sophie Tucker
    Sophie Tucker
    “I've been rich and I've been poor. Rich is better.”


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:

Poor he was in many senses, poor in appearance, poor in spirit.
"Pushing to the Front" by Orison Swett Marden
In an instant some thirty poor fellows were struggling in the surf.
"Hurricane Hurry" by W.H.G. Kingston
In fact, the poor and the middle classes give most in the aggregate to missions and hospitals and to the poor.
"Architects of Fate" by Orison Swett Marden
Certainly not, without the poor man himself.
"Agatha's Husband A Novel" by Dinah Maria Craik (AKA: Dinah Maria Mulock)
Mother, he said, was poorly, and greatly put out over my escapade.
"The Trail of '98" by Robert W. Service
Poor thing, poor thing!
"Olive A Novel" by Dinah Maria Craik, (AKA Dinah Maria Mulock)
Oh, there's room enough even for me, and there's a great deal too much for you, you poor old dear.
"If You Touch Them They Vanish" by Gouverneur Morris
The poor people whom he attended were devoted to him.
"Doctor Luttrell's First Patient" by Rosa Nouchette Carey
Poor soul, poor soul!
"Orley Farm" by Anthony Trollope
She is very poor; very, very poor and she has three little children.
"How It All Came Round" by L. T. Meade

In poetry:

Merry, merry Christmas,
Be to rich and poor!
Merry, merry Christmas
Stop at every door.
"A Christmas Chant" by Abram Joseph Ryan
Ah, sir,
My poor tale do n't cruelly shorten.
While the sacristan was blowing . . .
"The Purgatory Of St. Patrick - Act III" by Denis Florence MacCarthy
But what has poor Will done? I ask you once more;
I'll whip him, don't fear, if you'll tell me what for.
I paused for an answer; o'er valley and hill
Rang the voice of the bird, as he cried, "Whip-poor-Will."
"The Whippoorwill And I" by Horatio Alger Jr
He had riches and fame with his seventy years
When he won you for his wife;
You were but a child, and poor, and tired,
Tired of toil and strife;
And you only thought of rest, poor dove,
When you sold your beautiful life.
"Jenny Allen" by Marietta Holley
I'm sure he will be greatly missed by the poor,
For he never turned them empty-handed away from his door;
And to assist them in distress it didn't give him pain,
And I'm sure the poor will never look upon his like again.'
"The Burial of the Reverend Gilfillan" by William Topaz McGonagall
Poor scape-goat of nations and faiths in their strife
So cruel,--and thou so fair!
Poor girl!--so, best, in her misery named,--
Discrown'd of two kingdoms, and bare;
Not first nor last on this one was cast
The burden that others should share.
"Crossing Solway" by Francis Turner Palgrave

In news:

Bessie Coleman, the daughter of a poor, southern, African American family, became one of the most famous women and African Americans in aviation history.
Back Bar at the Poor House.
Is Oswalt's attitude as poor in the clubhouse as us fans see and read.
Molson Coors says third-quarter profit tumbled 23 percent despite revenue growth because it was burdened by higher costs, the poor US economy and surprisingly weak sales in the U.K.
At some point along the way, Hillary Clinton became "poor Hillary" and it stuck.
Davos Speech Sets a Plan to Use Market Forces To Help Poor Countries.
But after more than 20 years, Mr Schwartz said, the wood was weathering poorly and the house felt dated.
How a Poor Jewish Kid From Upstate New York Became Kirk Douglas.
God help the poor news consumers of America, especially the would-be voters.
The people were poor, but, thanks to the secret, they were happy.
Quarterback Stacey Warren felt as if he had let his Pascagoula teammates down with a poor performance in a 49-10 loss to No.
Lo, the poor telephone book.
Mitt Romney's 'poor' choice of words : Who's really struggling in America.
Mitt Romney was in damage-control mode Wednesday after the multimillionaire candidate said he's 'not concerned about the very poor'.
The Bible reflects special concern for the poor, the weak, the helpless, the stranger, the widow and the orphan.

In science:

Then one can get a (poor) polynomial upper bound on the time needed along the following lines.
Determining the Genus of a Map by Local Observation of a Simple Random Process
Note that experimental data on QE charm production are very poor.
MC generators in CHORUS
Hence, this approximation is poor when many particles are thermally excited.
Bose-Einstein condensation and superfluidity of dilute Bose gas in a random potential
However, individually, random graphs and lattice models in their pure forms are poor models of many real world networks.
Random Geometric Graphs
The upper bound for the minimal vertex covers constructed in this way was rather poor, but it will be improved in sections IV and V by using better wd .
Dynamics of heuristic optimization algorithms on random graphs