V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: 1. desperately poor due to lack of money, resources, or possessions; 2. severely lacking in some attribute

Synonyms: impoverished, deficient, indigent, insolvent, needy, penniless, bereft, lacking, wanting, without

Antonyms: wealthy, abundant, well-off, prosperous, opulent

Tips: Destitute comes from the Latin word destituere, "to abandon or deprive." The most common modern meaning is "very poor." Destitute is synonymous with indigent. Indigent is best used to describe extreme poverty in 3rd world nations, while destitute is best used to describe poverty that was created by people being abandoned or deprived of life's necessities. For a memory trick, note how destitute sounds like "just this tooth." Now, imagine a person who is poor and destitute and only has one tooth remaining. He might say, "I am so destitute, all I have left is 'just this tooth.'"

Usage Examples:

Since the factory has been dumping chemicals in the water, the lake has been destitute of fish. (deficient, lacking)

The destitute family was forced to leave its house and move into a homeless shelter. (impoverished, penniless)

The hurricanes have left thousand of people in Florida destitute. (lacking, needy, without basic necessities)

Our organization has been working tirelessly to bring help to the destitute neighborhoods of our city. (impoverished)

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