What can constitute a dictionary entry for "be the poorer for something"? I know what it means but I can't find any dictionaries contain it so to explain it to someone else. I found it very peculiar that there was no online source about that expression.

  • Why does the phrase need a dictionary entry, when it means the sum of its constituent parts? We know what "To be" means, we know what "poorer" means.
    – slim
    May 23 '17 at 12:45
  • @slim I don't say that it needs I say what a possible entry could be.
    – Adam
    May 23 '17 at 12:55

It's fairly difficult without re-using the words "to be" or "poor".

To be the poorer for (something): To be more poor as a result of (something).

Since the most appropriate of the Chambers definitions of "poor" is "in a sorry condition".

To be the poorer for (something): To be in a more sorry condition as a result of (something)

But I question the need for this, as the definition is tautological. Its full meaning is in the words used.

  • Yes that was my problem too as I couldn't find different words to express it. Thanks though for the try, it is useful.
    – Adam
    May 23 '17 at 13:13

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