Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English destitute, destitut, from Latin dēstitūtus.


destitute (comparative more destitute, superlative most destitute)

  1. (followed by the preposition "of") Lacking something; devoid
    • 1827, James Fenimore Cooper, The Prairie Chapter 9
      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 King James Bible, Psalms 141:8
      In thee is my trust; leave not my soul destitute.
  2. lacking money; poor, impoverished
    • May 24, 2018, Alex Vadukul in The New York Times, The Forgotten Entertainer Rag
      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, Henry Leyford Gates translating Aurora Mardiganian, 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.
    • 1841 February–November, Charles Dickens, “Barnaby Rudge”, in Master Humphrey’s Clock, volume III, London: Chapman & Hall, [], OCLC 633494058, 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. []

Etymology 2Edit

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


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.




  1. vocative masculine singular of dēstitūtus