a character in a nursery rhyme (=an old song or poem for young children). The rhyme goes: Old Mother Hubbard/Went to the cupboard/To get her poor dog a bone;/But when she came there/The cupboard was bare,/And so the poor dog had none. The expression 'the cupboard is bare' is sometimes used about a situation in which a person, organization, or government has no money left.
Definition from the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Advanced Learner's Dictionary.
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