A beggar asking for money.
- An example of a beggar is someone who stands on the street corner with a sign asking for money.
- An example of a beggar is a homeless person.
- a person who begs, or asks for charity, esp. one who lives by begging; mendicant
- a person who is very poor; pauper
- Chiefly Brit. a person; fellow: often used jokingly or affectionately
Origin of beggarMiddle English beggere from Old French begard: see beg
- to make a beggar of; make poor
- to render (one's ability to do something) ultimately inadequate or pointless: usually in the phrases beggar description or beggar belief: her dazzling beauty beggars description; your outrageous story beggars belief
- One who solicits alms for a living.
- An impoverished person; a pauper.
- Informal A man or a boy.
transitive verbbeg·gared, beg·gar·ing, beg·gars
- To make a beggar of; impoverish.
- To exceed the limits, resources, or capabilities of: beauty that beggars description.
Origin of beggarMiddle English from Old French begart ultimately from Middle Dutch beggaert one who rattles off prayers
(third-person singular simple present beggars, present participle beggaring, simple past and past participle beggared)
From Middle English beggere, beggare, beggar (“beggar”), from beggen (“to beg”), equivalent to beg + -er.
Alternative etymology derives beggar from Old French begart, originally a member of the Beghards, a lay brotherhood of mendicants in the Low Countries, from Middle Dutch beggaert (“mendicant”), with pejorative suffix (see -ard); the order is said to be named after the priest Lambert le Bègue of Liège (French for “Lambert the Stammerer”).