See also: béggar
- begger (obsolete)
From Middle English beggere, beggare, beggar (“beggar”), from Middle English beggen (“to beg”), equivalent to beg + -ar.
Alternative etymology derives Middle English beggere, beggare, 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”).
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈbɛɡɚ/
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈbɛɡə/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɛɡə(ɹ)
beggar (plural beggars)
- A person who begs.
- 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter XIII, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
- “ […] They talk of you as if you were Croesus—and I expect the beggars sponge on you unconscionably.” And Vickers launched forth into a tirade very different from his platform utterances. He spoke with extreme contempt of the dense stupidity exhibited on all occasions by the working classes.
- 1983, Stanley Rosen, Plato’s Sophist: The Drama of Original & Image, St. Augustine’s Press, p. 62:
- Odysseus has returned to his home disguised as a beggar.
- A person suffering from extreme poverty.
- 1881–1882, Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island, London; Paris: Cassell & Company, published 14 November 1883, →OCLC:
- I'm to be a poor, crawling beggar, sponging for rum, when I might be rolling in a coach!
- (colloquial, sometimes endearing) A mean or wretched person; a scoundrel.
- What does that silly beggar think he's doing?
- (UK) A minced oath for bugger.
- (who begs): mendicant, panhandler, schnorrer, spanger, truant, see also Thesaurus:beggar
- (extremely poor person): palliard, pauper, vagabond, see also Thesaurus:pauper
Terms derived from beggar (noun)
- beggars can't be choosers
- play silly beggars
- put the beggar on the gentleman
- set a beggar on horseback and he'll ride to the Devil
- sturdy beggar
- swamp beggar-ticks
person who begs
person suffering poverty
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
Translations to be checked
beggar (third-person singular simple present beggars, present participle beggaring, simple past and past participle beggared)
- (transitive) To make a beggar of someone; impoverish.
- (transitive, figurative) To exhaust the resources of; to outdo.
- 1886 October – 1887 January, H[enry] Rider Haggard, She: A History of Adventure, London: Longmans, Green, and Co., published 1887, →OCLC:
- `Now,' answered Ayesha, with proud humility - `now when my lord doth speak thus royally and give with so free a hand, it cannot become me to lag behind in words, and be beggared of my generosity.'
Terms derived from beggar (verb)
to make a beggar of someone
to exhaust the resources of
- Alternative form of beggere