In reduced circumstances
What's the meaning of the phrase 'In reduced circumstances'?
Euphemism for poverty or bankruptcy.
What's the origin of the phrase 'In reduced circumstances'?
In Georgian and Victorian England the word 'circumstances' was commonly used to mean 'material welfare; means'. A person who had fallen on hard times and could no longer support their previous lifestyle was said to be 'in reduced circumstances'. An early example of that in print is found in Lord Henry Brougham's novel Albert Lunel, 1844:
Born of noble family... reduced in its circumstances.