English edit

Pronunciation edit

Etymology 1 edit

From Middle English destitute, destitut, from Latin dēstitūtus.

Adjective edit

destitute (comparative more destitute, superlative most destitute)

  1. (followed by the preposition "of") Lacking something; devoid.
    • 1827, James Fenimore Cooper, chapter 9, in The Prairie:
      Now, though this region may scarcely be said to be wedded to science, being to all intents a virgin territory as respects the enquirer into natural history, still it is greatly destitute of the treasures of the vegetable kingdom.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], →OCLC, Psalms 141:8:
      In thee is my trust; leave not my soul destitute.
  2. Lacking money: poor, impoverished; especially, extremely so.
    • 1841 February–November, Charles Dickens, “Barnaby Rudge”, in Master Humphrey’s Clock, volume III, London: Chapman & Hall, [], →OCLC, chapter 45:
      ‘Do you know how pinched and destitute I am?’ she retorted. ‘I do not think you do, or can. If you had eyes, and could look around you on this poor place, you would have pity on me. []
      In 1907 he moved from St. Louis to New York City, arriving as a famous composer. But he died a decade later at the age of 49, destitute in an asylum on Wards Island as ragtime was fading in popularity.
    • 1918, Aurora Mardiganian, translated by Henry Leyford Gates, Ravished Armenia:
      according to the most careful estimates, 3,950,000 destitute peoples, mostly women and children who had been driven many of them as far as one thousand miles from home, turn their pitiful faces toward America for help in the reconstructive period in which we are now living.
    • 1961 November 10, Joseph Heller, “The Eternal City”, in Catch-22 [], New York, N.Y.: Simon and Schuster, →OCLC, page 428:
      He wondered how many people were destitute that same night even in his own prosperous country, how many homes were shanties, how many husbands were drunk and wives socked, and how many children were bullied, abused or abandoned.
    • May 24, 2018, Alex Vadukul in The New York Times, The Forgotten Entertainer Rag
Synonyms edit
Translations edit

Etymology 2 edit

From Middle English destituten, from the adjective (see above).

Verb edit

destitute (third-person singular simple present destitutes, present participle destituting, simple past and past participle destituted)

  1. (transitive) To impoverish; to strip of wealth, resources, etc.
Translations edit

Latin edit

Adjective edit


  1. vocative masculine singular of dēstitūtus