de·​nude di-ˈn(y)üd How to pronounce denude (audio)
denuded; denuding

transitive verb

: to deprive of something important
: to strip of all covering or surface layers
: to lay bare by erosion
: to strip (land) of forests
denudation noun
denudement noun

Examples of denude in a Sentence

Excessive logging has denuded the hillside of trees.
Recent Examples on the Web But Binns isn’t interested in returning to those heady days when his work adorned just about everyone’s throats, wrists, and décolletés—and made people think about how impeccably wrought jewelry could be denuded of boring old notions of status. Mark Holgate, Vogue, 23 Aug. 2023 If a shrub is mostly denuded already, though, don’t bother … the larvae will soon move on to adulthood or starve, and the dogwood will regrow as long as its roots are still healthy. Miri Talabac, Baltimore Sun, 17 Aug. 2023 But if pressing dubious legal theories of constitutional law onto public officials in order to induce them to exceed the proper scope of their powers is now a crime, the faculties of American law schools could be swiftly denuded of progressive legal academics. The Editors, National Review, 16 Aug. 2023 After a long pause, Moss collects herself, and offers an answer that denudes the vulnerability at the heart of her labor. Sophy Romvari, The New Yorker, 16 Aug. 2023 The fine for allegedly denuding a row of street trees that shaded striking Hollywood writers is small — $250 — but notable enough for the Los Angeles chief auditor. Paige St. John, Los Angeles Times, 22 July 2023 And that’s nothing compared to the differences within cities themselves, some parts of which are planted with tree cover and parkland, and others of which are denuded of green, and encased in asphalt and concrete. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, 12 July 2023 Leopold’s account of the dying wolf went on to describe the calamitous consequences of exterminating the entire species: mountains denuded of every edible tree and bush by proliferating deer, rangeland turned into dust bowls by overgrazing cattle. Matthew Gavin Frank, Harper's Magazine, 4 May 2023 Sugar cultivation, undertaken by enslaved Africans shipped across an ocean at the cost of millions of lives, denuded island after island of trees, draining aquifers and stripping away topsoil. Ben Ehrenreich, The New Republic, 10 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'denude.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Latin denudare, from de- + nudus bare — more at naked

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of denude was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near denude

Cite this Entry

“Denude.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


de·​nude di-ˈn(y)üd How to pronounce denude (audio)
denuded; denuding
: to strip of covering : lay bare
erosion that denudes the rocks of soil
denudation noun

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