Simple Definition of impoverish
: to make (someone) poor
: to use up the strength or richness of (something, such as land)
Full Definition of impoverish
1 : to make poor
2 : to deprive of strength, richness, or fertility by depleting or draining of something essential
Examples of impoverish in a sentence
The dictator enriched himself but impoverished his people.
Poor farming practices impoverished the soil.
Origin of impoverish
Middle English enpoverisshen, from Anglo-French empoveriss-, stem of empoverir, from en- + povre poor — more at poor
First Known Use: 15th century
Synonym Discussion of impoverish
IMPOVERISH Defined for Kids
Definition of impoverish for Students
1 : to make poor <The greedy tyrant impoverished his people.>
2 : to use up the strength or richness of <impoverished soil>
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