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impoverish

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verb im·pov·er·ish \im-ˈpäv-rish, -ˈpä-və-\

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. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to make poor

  3. 2 :  to deprive of strength, richness, or fertility by depleting or draining of something essential

im·pov·er·ish·er noun
im·pov·er·ish·ment play \-mənt\ noun

Examples of impoverish

  1. The dictator enriched himself but impoverished his people.

  2. 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

deplete, drain, exhaust, impoverish, bankrupt mean to deprive of something essential to existence or potency. deplete implies a reduction in number or quantity so as to endanger the ability to function <depleting our natural resources>. drain implies a gradual withdrawal and ultimate deprivation of what is necessary to an existence <personal tragedy had drained him of all spirit>. exhaust stresses a complete emptying <her lecture exhausted the subject>. impoverish suggests a deprivation of something essential to richness or productiveness <impoverished soil>. bankrupt suggests impoverishment to the point of imminent collapse <war had bankrupted the nation of resources>.

IMPOVERISH Defined for Kids

impoverish

play
verb im·pov·er·ish \im-ˈpä-və-rish\

Definition of impoverish

im·pov·er·ishedim·pov·er·ish·ing

  1. 1 :  to make poor <The greedy tyrant impoverished his people.>

  2. 2 :  to use up the strength or richness of <impoverished soil>





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