What does the word penury mean?

Usage examples for penury

  1. It pained me beyond measure to see her die thus, in a garret, without proper attendance or any but bare comforts; the existence which had once been bright and prosperous ending in penury and gloom, such as my mother's love and hope and self- sacrifice little deserved. – Historical Romances: Under the Red Robe, Count Hannibal, A Gentleman of France by Stanley J. Weyman
  2. He found his way to Edinburgh to attend the college there, setting the extremest penury at defiance. – Self Help by Samuel Smiles
  3. The price offered was such that Morewood could not refuse; but he had in the course of the sitting greatly annoyed Claudia by mentioning incidentally that her face did not interest him and was, in fact, such a face as he would never have painted but for the pressure of penury. – Father Stafford by Anthony Hope