meager (adj.) late 14c. (late 12c. as a surname), "lean, thin, emaciated" (of persons or animals), from O.Fr. megre, maigre "thin" (12c.), from L. macrum (nom. macer) "lean, thin" (source of Sp., Port., It. magro), from PIE *makro- (see MACRO- (Cf. macro-)). Of material things (land, food, etc.) from early 15c. Cognate Germanic words (O.N. magr "thin," O.H.G. magar, Ger. mager, M.Du. magher, Du. mager, O.E. mæger) come directly from the PIE root via P.Gmc. *magras and are not from Latin.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • meager — meager, scanty, scant, skimpy, scrimpy, exiguous, spare, sparse are comparable when they mean so small (as in amount, number, or size) as to fall short of what is normal, necessary, or desirable. Meager stresses thinness: as applied to persons or …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Meager — Mea ger, Meagre Mea gre, a. [OE. merge, F. maigre, L. macer; akin to D. & G. mager, Icel. magr, and prob. to Gr. makro s long. Cf. {Emaciate}, {Maigre}.] [1913 Webster] 1. Destitue of, or having little, flesh; lean. [1913 Webster] Meager were his …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Meager — or Meagre (see American and British English spelling differences) can refer to: Meagre set (also meager set) in mathematics Mount Meager (also Mount Meagre, Mount Meagher) in British Columbia, Canada Meager Creek, a creek in British Columbia,… …   Wikipedia

  • meager — [mē′gər] adj. [ME megre < OFr megre (Fr maigre) < L macer, lean, thin < IE * makro < base * māk , long and thin > Gr makros, long, OE mæger, meager] 1. thin; lean; emaciated 2. of poor quality or small amount; not full or rich;… …   English World dictionary

  • meager — [adj1] small, inadequate; poor bare, barren, deficient, exiguous, flimsy, inappreciable, inconsiderable, infertile, insubstantial, insufficient, little, mere, minimum, miserable, paltry, puny, scant, scanty, scrimp, scrimpy, shabby, short, skimp …   New thesaurus

  • Meager — Mea ger, Meagre Mea gre, v. t. To make lean. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • meager — index de minimus, deficient, inappreciable, inconsiderable, insufficient, marginal, mediocre, minimal …   Law dictionary

  • meager — or meagre adjective Etymology: Middle English megre, from Anglo French megre, meigre, from Latin macr , macer lean; akin to Old English mæger lean, Greek makros long Date: 14th century 1. having little flesh ; thin 2. a. lacking desirable… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • meager — meagerly, adv. meagerness, n. /mee geuhr/, adj. 1. deficient in quantity or quality; lacking fullness or richness; scanty; inadequate: a meager salary; meager fare; a meager harvest. 2. having little flesh; lean; thin: a body meager with hunger.… …   Universalium

  • meager — adjective 1) their meager earnings Syn: inadequate, scanty, scant, paltry, limited, restricted, modest, insufficient, sparse, deficient, negligible, skimpy, slender, poor, miserable, pitiful, puny …   Thesaurus of popular words

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