1. without means of subsistence; lacking food, clothing, and shelter.
  2. deprived of, devoid of, or lacking (often followed by of): destitute of children.

verb (used with object), des·ti·tut·ed, des·ti·tut·ing.

  1. to leave destitute.


  1. lacking the means of subsistence; totally impoverished
  2. (postpositive foll by of) completely lacking; deprived or bereft (of)destitute of words
  3. obsolete abandoned or deserted

late 14c., “abandoned, forsaken,” from Latin destitutus “abandoned,” past participle of destituere “forsake,” from de- “away” + statuere “put, place,” causative of stare “to stand,” from PIE root *sta- “to stand” (see stet). Originally literal; sense of “lacking resources, impoverished” is 1530s.

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