deplete

verb
de·​plete | \ di-ˈplēt How to pronounce deplete (audio) \
depleted; depleting

Definition of deplete

transitive verb

1 : to empty of a principal substance The lake was depleted of water. depleting the country of its natural resources
2 : to lessen markedly in quantity, content, power, or value deplete our life savings their depleted resources

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Other Words from deplete

depletable \ di-​ˈplē-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce depletable (audio) \ adjective
depleter \ di-​ˈplē-​tər How to pronounce depleter (audio) \ noun
depletion \ di-​ˈplē-​shən How to pronounce depletion (audio) \ noun
depletive \ di-​ˈplē-​tiv How to pronounce depletive (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for deplete

Synonyms

absorb, burn, consume, devour, drain, draw down, exhaust, expend, play out, spend, use up

Antonyms

renew, replace

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Choose the Right Synonym for deplete

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

Did You Know?

The de- prefix often means "do the opposite of", so deplete means the opposite of "fill". Thus, for example, a kitchen's food supplies can be rapidly depleted by hungry teenagers. But deplete often suggests something more serious. Desertions can deplete an army; layoffs can deplete an office staff; and too much time in bed can rapidly deplete your muscular strength.

Examples of deplete in a Sentence

Activities such as logging and mining deplete our natural resources. We completely depleted our life savings when we bought our new house.

Recent Examples on the Web

In a letter to the president on Tuesday, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, warned that the fund has now been depleted and is estimated to be running a $6 million deficit by Sept. 30. The Washington Post, The Denver Post, "President Trump’s Fourth of July event and weekend protests bankrupted Washington security fund, mayor says," 10 July 2019 Miami’s linebacking corps was also depleted by injuries in the spring, with Bradley Jennings Jr. and Waynmon Steed both missing time. Christy Cabrera Chirinos, sun-sentinel.com, "Linebacker Corey Flagg commits to Miami, helps Hurricanes address position of need," 18 June 2019 The ice extent has been especially depleted in the part of the Arctic Ocean adjacent to the Pacific Ocean. Jason Samenow, Anchorage Daily News, "Arctic Ocean and Greenland ice sheet seeing record June ice loss," 14 June 2019 The Warriors were clearly depleted and in disarray. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, "Kevin Durant and Achilles, Two Heroes Who Had Decisions to Make," 11 June 2019 When we are pushed to the mental and emotional limit by others, our bodies get depleted as our auric field is consumed with energy that’s not our own. Lisa Stardust, Teen Vogue, "How to Use Magic to Banish Energy Vampires," 28 May 2019 However, both teams were depleted with ECNL players out. OrlandoSentinel.com, "Winter Park Showcase presents great opportunity," 7 Jan. 2018 Federal agencies involved in immigration have reported being overwhelmed, depleting their budgets and housing large numbers of detainees in structures meant for handfuls of people. Andrew Taylor, BostonGlobe.com, "Senate passes $4.6 billion border aid bill," 26 June 2019 Federal agencies involved in immigration have reported being overwhelmed, depleting their budgets and housing large numbers of detainees in structures meant for handfuls of people. Andrew Taylor, chicagotribune.com, "Partisan showdown looms over $4.5 billion border aid package; GOP Senate leader says it’s full of ‘poison pills’," 26 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deplete.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of deplete

1807, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for deplete

Latin depletus, past participle of deplēre, from de- + plēre to fill — more at full

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Statistics for deplete

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for deplete

The first known use of deplete was in 1807

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More Definitions for deplete

deplete

verb

English Language Learners Definition of deplete

: to use most or all of (something important) : to greatly reduce the amount of (something)

deplete

verb
de·​plete | \ di-ˈplēt How to pronounce deplete (audio) \
depleted; depleting

Kids Definition of deplete

: to reduce in amount by using up The soil was depleted of minerals.

deplete

transitive verb
de·​plete | \ di-ˈplēt How to pronounce deplete (audio) \
depleted; depleting

Medical Definition of deplete

: to empty (as the blood vessels) of a principal substance a body depleted by excessive blood loss tissues depleted of vitamins

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More from Merriam-Webster on deplete

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with deplete

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for deplete

Spanish Central: Translation of deplete

Nglish: Translation of deplete for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of deplete for Arabic Speakers

Comments on deplete

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