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

  • adj. Deficient in quantity, fullness, or extent; scanty.
  • adj. Deficient in richness, fertility, or vigor; feeble: the meager soil of an eroded plain.
  • adj. Having little flesh; lean.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Having little flesh; lean; thin.
  • adj. Poor, deficient or inferior in amount, quality or extent; paltry; scanty; inadequate; unsatisfying.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Destitue of, or having little, flesh; lean.
  • adj. Destitute of richness, fertility, strength, or the like; defective in quantity, or poor in quality; poor; barren; scanty in ideas; wanting strength of diction or affluence of imagery. Opposite of ample.
  • adj. Dry and harsh to the touch, as chalk.
  • adj. less than a desirable amount; -- of items distributed from a larger supply.
  • transitive v. To make lean.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Lean; thin; having little flesh.
  • Without richness or fertility; barren: said of land.
  • Without moisture; dry and harsh: said of chalk, etc.
  • Without fullness, strength, substance, or value; deficient in quantity or quality; scanty; poor; mean.
  • Lenten; adapted to a fast. See maigre.
  • Synonyms Spare, emaciated, lank, gaunt.
  • 2 and Tame, barren, bald, jejune, dull, prosing.
  • n. A sickness.
  • n. Same as maigre, 2.
  • n. A spent salmon, or kelt.
  • To make lean.

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

  • adj. deficient in amount or quality or extent


Middle English megre, thin, from Old French, from Latin macer; see māk- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman megre, Old French maigre, from Latin macer. Akin to Old English mæġer ("meager, lean"), Dutch, German mager, Old Norse magr whence the Icelandic magur. (Wiktionary)


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