beggar /ˈbɛɡə/


I. noun

1. a person, typically a homeless one, who lives by asking for money or food.
2. [with adj.]
‹informal› a person of a specified type, especially one to be envied or pitied

poor little beggars.
II. verb [with obj.]

1. reduce (someone) to poverty

why should I beggar myself for you?
III. phrases

1. beggar belief (or description)
be too extraordinary to be believed or described.

a disregard for common sense which beggars belief.
2. beggars can’t be choosers

‹proverb› people with no other options must be content with what is offered.
3. set a beggar on horseback and he’ll ride to the Devil

‹proverb› someone unaccustomed to power or luxury will abuse or be corrupted by it.
– origin Middle English: from beg + -ar3.

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