How do you say POOR in Italian?

Poor in Italian


Povero is how you say poor into Italian (as a synonym for “not rich”).

OriginFrom the Latin word pauper, meaning “poor, needy”


Poor in Italian: Different forms

Like all other adjectives in Italian, povero needs to match the gender (masculine or feminine) and the number (singular or plural) of the noun.

man finding a money trap

Poor in Italian: Examples

È rimasto povero nonostante fosse un gran lavoratore.
He remained poor despite being a hard worker.

Siamo poveri, ma siamo felici.
We are poor, but we are happy.

Le persone povere vivono in condizioni difficili.
Poor people live in difficult conditions.

La mia famiglia è molto povera.
My family is very poor.

poor family with nothing to eat for dinner

Poor can also be translated as scarso, meaning “bad, mediocre”.

Luca ha voti molto scarsi in matematica.
Luca has very poor grades in math.

If you want to say to get poor in Italian, use either the reflexive verb impoverirsi or the expression diventare povero. Use impoverire to translate “to impoverish”.

Claudio è diventato povero giocando d’azzardo.
Claudio became poor by gambling.

La crisi economica ha impoverito le famiglie.
The economic crisis has impoverished families.

Povertà, poverty, is derived from povero and is a feminine noun.


Milioni di persone vivono sotto la soglia di povertà.
Millions of people live below the poverty line.

poor man beside a rich man

Poor in Italian: Expressions

There is a number of common idioms associated with the word for poor in Italian. Some of them are…

  • povero in canna (dirt poor)
  • povero Cristo (poor devil)
  • povero diavolo (poor devil)
  • povero me! (oh dear! poor me!)
  • cibo povero (poor man’s meal)

For example, you can say…

Povero me! Faccio sempre gli stessi errori!
Poor me! I always make the same mistakes!

I miei parenti sono tutti poveri in canna.
My relatives are all dirt poor.

More free Italian resources

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