Hypertext Webster Gateway: "poor"

From Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary (easton)

The Mosaic legislation regarding the poor is specially
important. (1.) They had the right of gleaning the fields (Lev.
19:9, 10; Deut. 24:19,21).

(2.) In the sabbatical year they were to have their share of
the produce of the fields and the vineyards (Ex. 23:11; Lev.

(3.) In the year of jubilee they recovered their property
(Lev. 25:25-30).

(4.) Usury was forbidden, and the pledged raiment was to be
returned before the sun went down (Ex. 22:25-27; Deut.
24:10-13). The rich were to be generous to the poor (Deut.

(5.) In the sabbatical and jubilee years the bond-servant was
to go free (Deut. 15:12-15; Lev. 25:39-42, 47-54).

(6.) Certain portions from the tithes were assigned to the
poor (Deut. 14:28, 29; 26:12, 13).

(7.) They shared in the feasts (Deut. 16:11, 14; Neh. 8:10).

(8.) Wages were to be paid at the close of each day (Lev.

In the New Testament (Luke 3:11; 14:13; Acts 6:1; Gal. 2:10;
James 2:15, 16) we have similar injunctions given with reference
to the poor. Begging was not common under the Old Testament,
while it was so in the New Testament times (Luke 16:20, 21,
etc.). But begging in the case of those who are able to work is
forbidden, and all such are enjoined to "work with their own
hands" as a Christian duty (1 Thess. 4:11; 2 Thess. 3:7-13; Eph.
4:28). This word is used figuratively in Matt. 5:3; Luke 6:20; 2
Cor. 8:9; Rev. 3:17.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Poor \Poor\, a. [Compar. {Poorer} (?; 254); superl. {Poorest}.]
[OE. poure or povre, OF. povre, F. pauvre, L. pauper; the
first syllable of which is probably akin to paucus few (see
{Paucity}, {Few}), and the second to parare to prepare,
procure. See {Few}, and cf. {Parade}, {Pauper}, {Poverty}.]
1. Destitute of property; wanting in material riches or
goods; needy; indigent.

Note: It is often synonymous with indigent and with
necessitous denoting extreme want. It is also applied
to persons who are not entirely destitute of property,
but who are not rich; as, a poor man or woman; poor

2. (Law) So completely destitute of property as to be
entitled to maintenance from the public.

3. Hence, in very various applications: Destitute of such
qualities as are desirable, or might naturally be
expected; as:
(a) Wanting in fat, plumpness, or fleshiness; lean;
emaciated; meager; as, a poor horse, ox, dog, etc.
``Seven other kine came up after them, poor and very
ill-favored and lean-fleshed.'' --Gen. xli. 19.
(b) Wanting in strength or vigor; feeble; dejected; as,
poor health; poor spirits. ``His genius . . . poor and
cowardly.'' --Bacon.
(c) Of little value or worth; not good; inferior; shabby;
mean; as, poor clothes; poor lodgings. ``A poor
vessel.'' --Clarendon.
(d) Destitute of fertility; exhausted; barren; sterile; --
said of land; as, poor soil.
(e) Destitute of beauty, fitness, or merit; as, a poor
discourse; a poor picture.
(f) Without prosperous conditions or good results;
unfavorable; unfortunate; unconformable; as, a poor
business; the sick man had a poor night.
(g) Inadequate; insufficient; insignificant; as, a poor

That I have wronged no man will be a poor plea
or apology at the last day. --Calamy.

4. Worthy of pity or sympathy; -- used also sometimes as a
term of endearment, or as an expression of modesty, and
sometimes as a word of contempt.

And for mine own poor part, Look you, I'll go pray.

Poor, little, pretty, fluttering thing. --Prior.

5. Free from self-assertion; not proud or arrogant; meek.
``Blessed are the poor in spirit.'' --Matt. v. 3.

{Poor law}, a law providing for, or regulating, the relief or
support of the poor.

{Poor man's treacle} (Bot.), garlic; -- so called because it
was thought to be an antidote to animal poison. [Eng]
--Dr. Prior.

{Poor man's weatherglass} (Bot.), the red-flowered pimpernel
({Anagallis arvensis}), which opens its blossoms only in
fair weather.

{Poor rate}, an assessment or tax, as in an English parish,
for the relief or support of the poor.

{Poor soldier} (Zo["o]l.), the friar bird.

{The poor}, those who are destitute of property; the
indigent; the needy. In a legal sense, those who depend on
charity or maintenance by the public. ``I have observed
the more public provisions are made for the poor, the less
they provide for themselves.'' --Franklin.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Poor \Poor\, n. (Zo["o]l.)
A small European codfish ({Gadus minutus}); -- called also
{power cod}.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

adj 1: moderate to inferior in quality; "they improved the quality
from mediocre to above average"; "he would make a poor
spy" [syn: {mediocre}, {second-rate}]
2: deserving or inciting pity; "a hapless victim"; "miserable
victims of war"; "the shabby room struck her as
extraordinarily pathetic"- Galsworthy; "piteous appeals
for help"; "pitiable homeless children"; "a pitiful fate";
"couldn't rescue the poor fellow"; "his poor distorted
limbs"; "a wretched life" [syn: {hapless}, {miserable}, {misfortunate},
{pathetic}, {piteous}, {pitiable}, {pitiful}, {wretched}]
3: having little money or few possessions; "deplored the gap
between rich and poor countries"; "the proverbial poor
artist living in a garret" [ant: {rich}]
4: characterized by or indicating lack of money; "the country
had a poor economy" [ant: {rich}]
5: low in degree; "expectations were poor"
6: badly supplied with desirable qualities or substances; "a
poor land"; "the area was poor in timber and coal"; "food
poor in nutritive value" [ant: {rich}]
7: not sufficient to meet a need; "an inadequate income"; "a
poor salary"; "money is short"; "on short rations"; "food
is in short supply"; "short on experience" [syn: {inadequate},
8: unsatisfactory; "a poor light for reading"; "poor morale"
9: yielding little by great labor; "a hardscrabble farm"; "poor
soil" [syn: {hardscrabble}]

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