Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913 + 1828)
result(s) from the 1913
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.
&hand; 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 people.
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 excuse.
That I have wronged no man will be a poor plea or apology at the last day.
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.
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 (Zoöl.), 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.
Poor (?), n. (Zoöl.) A small European codfish (Gadus minutus); -- called also power cod.