Meaning of MEAGER in English


Variant: or mea · gre

Pronunciation: ' m ē -g ə r

Function: adjective

Etymology: Middle English megre, from Anglo-French megre, meigre, from Latin macr-, macer lean; akin to Old English mæger lean, Greek makros longitude

Date: 14th century

1 : having little flesh : THIN

2 a : lacking desirable qualities (as richness or strength) <leading a meager life> b : deficient in quality or quantity <a meager diet>

– mea · ger · ly adverb

– mea · ger · ness noun

synonyms MEAGER , SCANTY , SCANT , SKIMPY , SPARE , SPARSE mean falling short of what is normal, necessary, or desirable. MEAGER implies the absence of elements, qualities, or numbers necessary to a thing's richness, substance, or potency <a meager portion of meat>. SCANTY stresses insufficiency in amount, quantity, or extent <supplies too scanty to last the winter>. SCANT suggests a falling short of what is desired or desirable rather than of what is essential <in January the daylight hours are scant >. SKIMPY usually suggests niggardliness or penury as the cause of the deficiency <tacky housing developments on skimpy lots>. SPARE may suggest a slight falling short of adequacy or merely an absence of superfluity <a spare, concise style of writing>. SPARSE implies a thin scattering of units <a sparse population>.

Merriam Webster Collegiate English Dictionary.      Merriam Webster - Энциклопедический словарь английского языка.