poor as a church mouse

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*poor as a church mouse

 and *poor as church mice
very poor. (*Also: as ~.) My aunt is as poor as a church mouse. The Browns are poor as church mice.
See also: church, mouse, poor

poor as a church mouse

OLD-FASHIONED
If someone is as poor as a church mouse, they have very little money. I was as poor as a church mouse, but I bought that wreck of a car. I suspect we'll continue to be poor as church mice. Note: Mice living in a church are unlikely to find much to eat as there is no kitchen or food cupboard.
See also: church, mouse, poor

poor as a church mouse (or as church mice)

extremely poor.
Church mice may be considered to be particularly poor or deprived in that they do not have the opportunity to find pickings from a kitchen or larder.
See also: church, mouse, poor

(as) poor as a church ˈmouse

very poor: She was as poor as a church mouse, living on a tiny pension. OPPOSITE: (as) rich as Croesus
See also: church, mouse, poor
References in periodicals archive ?
There was no room for His Holy family and so, poor as church mice, they laid down in a stable.
But without charity and love for others we are poor as church mice.
The priest explained, "We're as poor as church mice," and Rose asked, "Can I send over a crew?
Picture a country girl with dreams and aspirations in a family poor as church mice - but, mind you, loving, God-fearing, proud and fiercely loyal.
Speaking to a law magazine about Justice Secretary Jack Straw's money-saving plans he said: "The impression I get from those doing legal aid work, particularly family work, is that most are poor as church mice.