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
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
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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