poverty


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to poverty: Absolute poverty

poverty

a situation where a person's income is too low to enable him or her to buy the amount of food, clothing and shelter that are deemed necessary to meet his or her basic needs, that is, some ‘subsistence’ standard of living. Countries have different definitions of what minimum income constitutes poverty and often measure poverty levels as a proportion of average income. High proportions of the populations of DEVELOPING COUNTRIES experience poverty. Governments attempt to combat poverty by encouraging faster ECONOMIC GROWTH and by the redistribution of income. See REDISTRIBUTION-OFINCOME PRINCIPLE OF TAXATION, ABILITY-TO-PAY PRINCIPLE OF TAXATION, PROGRESSIVE TAXATION, SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS.
References in classic literature ?
The rather irregular lines of his face, the curve of his lips, a prominent chin, the fine modelling of his forehead, his melancholy countenance, caused by a sense of his poverty warring with the powers that he felt within him, were all indications of repressed and imprisoned talent.
For what dread of want or poverty that can reach or harass the student can compare with what the soldier feels, who finds himself beleaguered in some stronghold mounting guard in some ravelin or cavalier, knows that the enemy is pushing a mine towards the post where he is stationed, and cannot under any circumstances retire or fly from the imminent danger that threatens him?
Her hair was the brightest living gold, and despite the poverty of her clothing, seemed to set a crown of distinction on her head.
to assist free men and free governments in casting off the chains of poverty.
I thought the slight color which usually adorned the fair oval cheeks of Adrienne deepened a little at this remark, and I certainly felt a little tremor in the hand which held me; but it could not have been shame, as the sweet girl often alluded to her poverty in a way so simple and natural, as to prove that she had no false feelings on that subject.
The great writer had recently died in a foreign land - in dire poverty, Martin remembered, which was not to be wondered at, considering the magnificent pay authors receive.
As covetousness is the root of all evil, so poverty is, I believe, the worst of all snares.
Sonya kept house, attended on her aunt, read to her, put up with her whims and secret ill-will, and helped Nicholas to conceal their poverty from the old countess.
Then all is blank; and afterward the rains beat against the grimy window-panes, or the snows fall upon my scant attire, the wheels rattle in the squalid streets where my life lies in poverty and mean employment.
Our poverty would not permit us to pay for two passages,” said the youth, with the extraordinary emotion with which he ever alluded to the degraded state of his family ; “ I was left in the Province to wait for his return, and, when the sad news of his loss reached me, I was nearly penniless.
Never mind, Harriet, I shall not be a poor old maid; and it is poverty only which makes celibacy contemptible to a generous public
Keep the struggle for yourself, bear all the suffering, but spare her the trial of poverty which must accompany your first efforts; for she deserves not even the shadow of the misfortune which has this day fallen on her, and providence is not willing that the innocent should suffer for the guilty.