Definition of destitute in English:


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  • 1Without the basic necessities of life.

    ‘the charity cares for destitute children’
    • ‘How does Dr. Singh give 400 million of the poor and the destitute a stake in Indian democracy?’
    • ‘Old age homes are necessary, but essentially for the destitute and the poor.’
    • ‘He lived the high life as a London yuppie and threw it all away to work with the poor and destitute in Liverpool slums.’
    • ‘While we had been a wealthy nation before colonisation, we were left destitute and poor by the end of it.’
    • ‘That money could be spent on the poor and destitute without expecting any reward for it from God.’
    • ‘It quickly spread to neighbouring shacks, leaving their already poor occupants destitute.’
    • ‘Our government is faced with many challenges and promises to deliver and serve the poor and destitute.’
    • ‘Ethan did not want anyone in Starkfield to think that he was poor and destitute again.’
    • ‘People living at or below this income level are not simply poor, but destitute.’
    • ‘Only the destitute are provided with any support, and then at the lowest level.’
    • ‘The English aristocracy of the 19th century cared little for the poor and destitute.’
    • ‘Many of us who were forced out of the country are now scattered all over the world as impoverished and financially destitute refugees.’
    • ‘This makes them an extremely unattractive economic proposition for even the most destitute ragpicker.’
    • ‘Karim has been rendering selfless service to the destitute patients at the MCH for the last five years.’
    • ‘Can you do something to increase the grant for the destitute children?’
    • ‘Some only lost fathers but were put in orphanages by destitute mothers who had no means to support them after the Gulf War.’
    • ‘Most people did not quality for a medical card unless they were destitute, unemployed or had a serious illness.’
    • ‘These animals are of huge importance in the lives of destitute people.’
    • ‘Three days a week, workers visit the areas around the church with breakfasts and lunches for the destitute.’
    penniless, impoverished, poverty-stricken, poor, impecunious, indigent, down and out, pauperized, without a penny to one's name, without two farthings to rub together, without two pennies to rub together
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    1. 1.1destitute ofpredicative Not having.
      ‘towns destitute of commerce’
      • ‘The transition from any value system to a new one must pass through that zero point of atomic dissolution, must take its way through a generation, destitute of any connection, with either the old or the new system.’
      • ‘How parliaments make swine and vermin of men, who are destitute of morals and devoid of human attributes, is no more in the realm of magic, neither in that of magic realism.’
      • ‘He thought their clothes ugly, ‘destitute of taste, destitute of grace, repulsive as a shroud’ and preferred aloud the simple, colorful and more natural native garb.’
      • ‘She is… utterly destitute of the sense of fear.’
      • ‘Relying on impressions from travel books, Carey concluded that over half ‘of the sons of Adam… are in general poor, barbarous, naked pagans as destitute of civilisation, as they are of true religion.’’
      • ‘Even in its gaunt incompleteness, destitute of the wealth of colour which is meant to adorn it, the interior of Bentley's spacious building is immensely impressive.’
      • ‘In both cases, the period that Ms. Jordan (a canonical figure herself, included in both anthologies) believed to be largely destitute of significance today makes up the bulk of the African American literary tradition.’
      • ‘These, Denny, are empty and vapid slogans because those who use them are destitute of any imagination or feeling of what such greed, racism or imperialism is like.’
      • ‘According to General Canby, they were on Camas Prairie because ‘their country was almost entirely destitute of game,’ a complaint rendered all the more believable because of its frequency.’
      • ‘The church historian should not be indifferent to the subject, or ‘so destitute of convictions as to form no moral judgments on the parties and individuals whose history he studies,’ he said.’
      • ‘Cooper's weir was an obstruction that left upstream areas ‘without a fish to be seen’ and many of the ‘poorer classes destitute of fresh meat.’’
      • ‘Kamehameha died in 1819, and was succeeded by his son, Lilohilo, or Kamehameha II., a mild and well disposed prince, but destitute of his father's energy.’
      • ‘Nearly destitute of food, clothing, and ammunition, with enlistments expiring and men abandoning what looked like a lost cause, the Continental army was about to fade away.’
      • ‘Jobless and destitute of funds, McClean enlists with the Black Knight Legion, a band of villainous mercenaries driven by the acquisition of financial gain.’
      • ‘‘Marched 32 miles over rough barren country destitute of both water and grass,’ Wright recorded that day.’
      • ‘‘We have just learned through the southern Indians, that the troops are very destitute of provisions,’ it began.’
      • ‘He deplored the current urban landscape of his time, both its slums and wealthy apartments, as destitute of imagination, just as he rejected the view of art as the beauty parlor of civilization.’
      • ‘Very remarkable; fittest, perhaps, for an age fallen languid, destitute of faith and terrified at scepticism.’
      • ‘The single room in which the Dysons lived was ‘almost destitute of furniture.’’
      • ‘Its last coal shipment occurred in 1959 and, destitute of viable alternatives, it ceased trading in 1961.’
      devoid, bereft, deprived, in need
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/ˈdestəˌto͞ot/ /ˈdɛstəˌtut/


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘deserted, abandoned, empty’): from Latin destitutus, past participle of destituere ‘forsake’, from de- ‘away from’ + statuere ‘to place’.