1. Experiencing want or need; impoverished: distributed food to indigent families.
2. Archaic Lacking or deficient.
A poor or destitute person.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin indigēns, indigent-, present participle of indigēre, to need : indu-, in; see en in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + egēre, to lack.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.