Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Utterly lacking; devoid: Young recruits destitute of any experience.
  • adj. Lacking resources or the means of subsistence; completely impoverished. See Synonyms at poor.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Lacking something; devoid; especially lacking money; poor, impoverished, poverty-stricken.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Forsaken; not having in possession (something necessary, or desirable); deficient; lacking; devoid; -- often followed by of.
  • adj. Not possessing the necessaries of life; in a condition of want; needy; without possessions or resources; very poor.
  • transitive v. To leave destitute; to forsake; to abandon.
  • transitive v. To make destitute; to cause to be in want; to deprive; -- followed by of.
  • transitive v. To disappoint.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To forsake; desert; abandon; leave to neglect.
  • To deprive, as of property, preferment, or office; divest: used absolutely or with of.
  • To disappoint.
  • Deprived; bereft; under complete lack or privation, whether of what has been lost or of what has never been possessed: with of: as, destitute of honor or of prudence; destitute of the necessaries of life.
  • Without means; indigent; needy; poor: as, the family has been left destitute.
  • A destitute person, or destitute persons collectively.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. poor enough to need help from others
  • adj. completely wanting or lacking

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English, from Latin dēstitūtus, past participle of dēstituere, to abandon : dē-, de- + statuere, to set; see stā- in Indo-European roots.

Examples

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