indigent adj : poor enough to need help from others [syn: destitute, impoverished, necessitous, needy, poverty-stricken]
EtymologyOld French, from the present participle stem of indigere ‘lack’, from indi- (strengthened form of in-) + egere ‘be in need’.
- A person in need, or in poverty
- 1975: I liked the streets best, so I walked and stared, and slept in a Salvation Army hostel for indigents. But I was no indigent; I was rich in feeling, and that was a luxury I had rarely known. — Robertson Davies, World of Wonders
Impotent poor was a classificiation of poverty used in Britain during the 1600s. It referred to those poor who were unable to support themselves either through age or sickness - not because they did not want to work. This group was considered deserving of poor relief.
almsman, almswoman, bankrupt, beggar, beggared, beggarly, bereaved, bereft, casual, charity case, deprived, destitute, disadvantaged, down-and-out, down-and-outer, flat broke, fleeced, ghettoized, hard up, hardcase, impecunious, impoverished, in need, in rags, in want, mendicant, necessitous, needy, on relief, out at elbows, pauper, pauperized, penniless, penniless man, penurious, poor, poor devil, poor man, poorling, poverty-stricken, short, starveling, strapped, stripped, underprivileged, welfare client