Meaning of MEAGER in English


or mea·gre ˈmēgə(r)

Etymology: Middle English megre, from Middle French maigre, from Latin macr-, macer; akin to Old English mæger lean, Old High German magar, Old Norse magr lean, Greek makros long, tall, Avestan mas- long

1. : destitute of or having little flesh : thin , lean

meager were his looks, sharp misery had worn him to the bones — Shakespeare


a. : lacking richness, fertility, strength, or comparable qualities : deficient in quantity or poor in quality : inferior , inadequate

a meager harvest

stretching a meager salary

b. of verbal expression : scanty in ideas : lacking strength of diction or sufficiency of imagery

3. : dry and harsh to the touch

chalk feels meager

4. : maigre


scanty , scant , skimpy , scrimpy , exiguous , spare , sparse : meager suggests thin, pinched, slight smallness, inadequacy, barrenness, or utter lack of richness, strength, force, or fullness

meager crops of rye, buckwheat, and potatoes scarcely provide a living for the inhabitants — Samuel Van Valkenburg & Ellsworth Huntington

scientists with poor laboratories and meager salaries — W.A.Noyes b.1898

the child-mind is as yet too meagre in life-experience to confront the human enterprise — H.A.Overstreet

scanty describes that which is barely adequate in quantity, size, extent, or degree or which only approaches adequacy

the hunted wild beasts can live on scanty rations, going for days at a time without a mouthful — American Guide Series: Arizona

such a scanty portion of light was admitted through these means that it was difficult, on first coming in, to see anything — Charles Dickens

scant may indicate a falling or cutting short, sometimes by design, of what is desired or desirable

where precipitation was too scant to support a solid earth covering — R.A.Billington

savage people, huge in form, fierce in manner, and wearing scant clothing of skins — A.C.Whitehead

most of the colonies gave them scant welcome, and many persecuted them — W.L.Sperry

skimpy and scrimpy may imply niggardliness as a cause of smallness or inadequacy, the former perhaps arising from stinginess, the latter from necessitous parsimony

the meal set before us upon our return to the Bear's Paw, tired and hungry, was a decidedly skimpy table d'hôte lunch — A.W.O'Neil

the drab routine and skimpy meanness of the New England farm — V.L.Parrington

the guests ate in silence, murmured with their food, were exceedingly well bred — more proud of their breeding than they were of the scrimpy, almost stingy respectability of the ménage — W.A.White

exiguous describes a scanty smallness making whatever is under consideration compare most unfavorably with others of its kind

in conditions the whole region, except for the river valleys that cross it, can support only a sparse and exiguous population who have little encouragement to cultural progress and have in fact remained backward — V.G.Childe

spare may indicate a falling short of adequacy without, however, specific connotations, especially depreciatory ones

argument was spare and simple: surely the United States would not let a stout ally down in its hour of need — Time

sparse implies thinness or lack of normal or hoped for thickness or density, with or without being therefore inadequate or insufficient

the cays were little more than heaps of rock and sand, covered with coarse grass and a sparse growth of bush and stunted trees — C.B.Nordhoff & J.N.Hall

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.