toggle menu
1000+ books


used in a sentence
(click/touch triangles for details)
Definition a state of extreme poverty or destitution
  • The couple suffered from substance abuse, gambling, lack of family support, and other social ills that lead to penury.
penury = extreme poverty
  • She has been reduced to penury.
  • penury = extreme poverty
  • ...middle-aged woman worn with the cares of penury and a large family...
    Thornton Wilder  --  The Bridge of San Luis Rey
  • penury = poverty
  • It contained but two rooms, and these exhibited all the squalidness of the most miserable penury.
    Mary Shelley  --  Frankenstein
  • penury = a state of extreme poverty or destitution
  • Along with the pressures of living together came penury.
    Arundhati Roy  --  The God of Small Things
  • penury = a state of extreme poverty or destitution
  • ...virtue of itself sheds a certain light, even though it be through the straits and chinks of penury,
    Miguel de Cervantes  --  Don Quixote
  • penury = a state of extreme poverty or destitution
  • The weariest and most loathed worldly life
    That age, ache, penury, and imprisonment
    Can lay on nature is a paradise
    To what we fear of death.
    William Shakespeare  --  Measure for Measure
  • penury = a state of extreme poverty or destitution
  • remember our feelings of disgrace and penury and shame
    Chang-rae Lee  --  Native Speaker
  • penury = a state of extreme poverty or destitution
  • ...who had not learned that first principle of penury which is to scrimp and save for the sake of scrimping and saving,
    William Faulkner  --  Absalom, Absalom!
  • penury = a state of extreme poverty or destitution
  • Poor Jurgis, who had in truth grown more matter-of-fact, under the endless pressure of penury, would not know what to make of these things,
    Upton Sinclair  --  The Jungle
  • penury = a state of extreme poverty
  • He pointed at himself and family with a wave of the hand intended to bring out the penuriousness of the exhibition.
    Thomas Hardy  --  The Mayor of Casterbridge
  • penuriousness = state of extreme poverty
    (Editor's note:  The suffix "-ness" converts an adjective to a noun that means the quality of. This is the same pattern you see in words like darkness, kindness, and coolness.)
  • What prodigal portion have I spent that I should come to such penury?
    William Shakespeare  --  As You Like It
  • penury = a state of extreme poverty or destitution
  • And now to chuse the mortification of Mrs. Elton's notice and the penury of her conversation, rather than return to the superior companions who have always loved her with such real, generous affection.
    Jane Austen  --  Emma
  • penury = poverty
  • There were a number of skirmishes with Mrs. Hall on matters of domestic discipline, but in every case until late April, when the first signs of penury began, he over-rode her by the easy expedient of an extra payment.
    H.G. Wells  --  The Invisible Man
  • penury = poverty (being out of money)
  • At first he pined for them, sorrowed for them, longed to see them, but later, the thought of their coming some day in their rags and dirt, and betraying him with their kisses, and pulling him down from his lofty place, and dragging him back to penury and degradation and the slums, made him shudder.
    Mark Twain  --  The Prince and The Pauper
  • penury = poverty
  • His mother explained to him her liberal designs, in case of his marrying Miss Morton; told him she would settle on him the Norfolk estate, which, clear of land-tax, brings in a good thousand a-year; offered even, when matters grew desperate, to make it twelve hundred; and in opposition to this, if he still persisted in this low connection, represented to him the certain penury that must attend the match.
    Jane Austen  --  Sense and Sensibility
  • penury = extreme poverty or destitution
  • Noting this penury,
    William Shakespeare  --  Romeo and Juliet
  • penury = poverty
  • When the population suffers, when work is lacking, when there is no commerce, the tax-payer resists imposts through penury, he exhausts and oversteps his respite, and the state expends a great deal of money in the charges for compelling and collection.
    Victor Hugo  --  Les Miserables
  • penury = extreme poverty
  • It was too far to return to dinner, and an allowance of cold meat and bread, in the same penurious proportion observed in our ordinary meals, was served round between the services.
    Charlotte Bronte  --  Jane Eyre
  • penurious = stingy (as though impoverished)
  • and am bethought
    To take the basest and most poorest shape
    That ever penury, in contempt of man
    William Shakespeare  --  King Lear
penury = a state of extreme poverty or destitution

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary list —®
Search for other examples by interest
General — Google News®
General — Time® Magazine
General — Wikipedia®
Architecture — Google® books - Architecture
Business — Bloomberg®
Business — The Economist®
Classic Literature — Google® books - Classical Literature
Engineering — Google® books - Engineering
Engineering — Popular Mechanics®
Engineering — Discover Magazine®
Fine Arts & Music — Google® books - Art
History — Google® books - History
Human Behavior — Google® books - Psychology
Human Behavior — Psychology Today®
Law — FindLaw®
Law — Google® books - Law
Logic & Reasoning — Google® books - Reasoning
Medicine — Web MD®
Medicine — Google® books - Medicine
Nature & Ecology — National Geographic®
Nature & Ecology — Google® books - Nature
Personal Finance — Kiplinger® (Personal Finance)
Philosophy — Google® books - Philosophy
Public Policy & Politics — Newsweek®
Public Policy & Politics — Real Clear Politics®
Public Policy & Politics — Google® books - Politics
Religion & Spirtuality — Google® books - Religion
Religion - Christianity — Bible Gateway®
Religion - Christianity — Google® books - Christianity
Science — Popular Science®
Science — Scientific American®
Science — Google® books - Science
Sports — Sports Illustrated®