from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Lacking resources or the means of subsistence; completely impoverished.
  • adjective Utterly lacking; devoid.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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


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.]


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  • But men scarcely take pleasure at all in these things, at least those whom we call destitute of self-control do not, but only in the actual enjoyment which arises entirely from the sense of Touch, whether in eating or in drinking, or in grosser lusts.

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