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.