Definition of pauper in English:

pauper

noun

  • 1A very poor person.

    ‘he died a pauper’
    • ‘Disease spread rapidly among the half starved and half clothed paupers.’
    • ‘And the heat went out of the pursuit eventually, and when he died in 1762, although a pauper, he was no longer a fugitive.’
    • ‘This means people will not belong to any of the classes or professions, but will simply be poor and helpless paupers.’
    • ‘However, I was as poor as a pauper with a broken carriage and no prince.’
    • ‘The whole world was there - princes, kings, paupers, and priests - and an elation was felt that had never before been attained.’
    • ‘Why does one think that people become paupers overnight?’
    • ‘There are decent paupers just as there are decent princes.’
    • ‘Not that my parents are paupers - they wouldn't want people to think they don't make a living - but they're comfortable.’
    • ‘Directors of such banks prosper while depositors turn paupers.’
    • ‘Unlike some of the ultra rich who will benefit from an illconceived scheme, some of the Irish players would be paupers by comparison.’
    • ‘Children are taken out of education and become paupers.’
    • ‘The profession was given automatic rights to ‘unclaimed bodies’, usually those of paupers.’
    • ‘The hosts began the game like kings but ended up paupers.’
    • ‘It was invaluable experience, but we were all absolute paupers.’
    • ‘He has pressed palms with presidents and paupers, gurus and lepers on his journeys across continents.’
    • ‘Starvation deaths are most endemic among these agrarian labourers and among the rural paupers.’
    • ‘It almost feels like we're a bunch of paupers waiting outside a rich man's house.’
    • ‘At this rate the country will become a land of paupers pandering to third world countries.’
    • ‘They would enter the room as millionaires and a few years later they would be paupers.’
    • ‘Was your great grandfather a prince or a pauper?’
    poor person, indigent, bankrupt, insolvent
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1historical A recipient of relief under the provisions of the Poor Law or of public charity.
      ‘he was buried in a pauper's grave’
      • ‘Dickens's rage against the New Poor Law, which precluded able-bodied paupers from relief, is underplayed.’
      • ‘By Winter he is penniless, far from home, and buried in an unmarked pauper's grave.’
      • ‘I suspect he's buried in a pauper's grave somewhere there in that little town's cemetery, long since forgotten.’
      • ‘She was buried in a pauper's grave this weekend.’
      • ‘As there were no private clinics then, and hospitals were charitable institutions for paupers, he went to the house of his cousin.’
    2. 1.2US Law A poor person who may bring a legal action without payment of costs.
      ‘If we go back to the example of the US Supreme Court, a pauper who has to depend on free legal aid is no match for the billionaire.’

Origin

Late 15th century from Latin, literally ‘poor’. The word's use in English originated in the Latin legal phrase in forma pauperis, literally ‘in the form of a poor person’ (allowing non-payment of costs).

Pronunciation

pauper

/ˈpɔːpə/