Definitions

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

  • adjective Having little or no money.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Having no money; poor; penniless.

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

  • adjective Not having money; habitually without money; poor.

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

  • adjective Lacking money.

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

  • adjective not having enough money to pay for necessities

Etymologies

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

[in– + pecunious, rich (from Middle English, from Old French pecunios, from Latin pecūniōsus, from pecūnia, money, wealth; see peku- in Indo-European roots).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

First attested in 1596. From im- + pecunious, from Latin pecūniōsus, from pecūnia ("money") + -ōsus ("full of").

Examples

  • He said his father, whom he once described as an impecunious civil servant, urged him to pursue a more secure career.

    NYT > Global Home

  • He said his father, whom he once described as an impecunious civil servant, urged him to pursue a more secure career.

    NYT > Home Page

  • The "impecunious" deserter fared more hardly; and would, usually, be forced by hunger and thirst to emerge from his hiding place, while the steamer was on the outward voyage.

    The Narrative of a Blockade-Runner

  • The minister who hardens his heart to a call, and waits for a certain congregation to offer him say five hundred a year more, often finds himself scabbed upon by another and more impecunious minister; and the next time it is his turn to scab while a brother minister is hardening his heart to a call.

    THE SCAB

  • At the time the story goes he was an impecunious writer suffering from writer's block.

    Writers at Work, Seeking a Spark

  • When you are young and impecunious and just out of college, these things are important.

    Bosses I Have Known « Tales from the Reading Room

  • It was a weird, improbable metamorphosis for the plump, gypsy-like woman with long batik dresses and dyed-black hair Jane had last seen arguing with impecunious guests on Kuta beach.

    A Covert Affair

  • One way is that, as the "food revolution" meets an increasingly impecunious American public, chain restaurants are thriving.

    10 Chain Restaurants Worth Visiting

  • Is it true that impecunious Lord Heverton is wooing a wealthy widow from Brighton with nary a title to her name?

    Secret History of Elizabeth Tudor, Vampire Slayer

  • I grant you that it is possible that future voters might in principle decide to vote for government bankruptcy and to allow the old and impecunious to starve.

    IRA's to the Rescue?, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

Comments

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  • Scales, though he was always spending money, was not at all well off; he did not pay for the house himself. A most obliging building society, which existed solely for the purpose of enabling impecunious Englishmen to feel that their homes were their castles, did that. -- ''Yashima, or, The Gorgeous West'' by R T Sherwood, 1931.

    December 24, 2008

  • "The jug was labeled fairly enough--CAMEL PISS--and a double shot could be obtained for three pennies. It was a drink only for the reckless or the impecunious, but a fair number of both passed beneath the stern gaze of The Romp each night; Stanley rarely had a problem emptying the jug." From Wizard and Glass by Stephen King.

    January 27, 2011