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

Synonyms & Antonyms for deplete



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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 After a 2019-20 season that saw injuries deplete Curry to only five games and Green play inconsistently for the rest of them, the Warriors stars reported to camp Tuesday frothing at the idea of getting back on the court. Rusty Simmons,, "Warriors’ ‘bread and butter’ is back: Steph Curry and Draymond Green eager to compete," 1 Dec. 2020 The home’s staffing coordinator also told the inspector that staff members had to deplete all of their sick and vacation time before tapping the coronavirus sick leave offered by the company. Washington Post, "Profit and pain: How California’s largest nursing home chain amassed millions as scrutiny mounted," 31 Dec. 2020 Any nonessential procedures must be performed in a way that does not deplete medical resources needed for the pandemic. Lauren Caruba,, "San Antonio’s coronavirus positivity rate spikes to 19.2 percent as COVID-19 hospitalizations approach summer levels," 28 Dec. 2020 The euro area’s top regulator wants to ensure banks don’t deplete their capital cushions while the economic impact of the pandemic is still unclear. Steven Arons,, "Deutsche Bank Considers Raising Traders’ Bonuses by About 10%," 22 Dec. 2020 The compromise was met after Mayor Jacob Frey threatened to veto a proposal that would deplete the force to 750 officers beginning in 2022 from the current level of 888. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "'It looks like a war zone:' Minneapolis developers shy away from city projects after unrest and calls to 'defund the police'," 16 Dec. 2020 Biden’s pick could further deplete, at least temporarily, the narrow majority Democrats maintain in the House. Ellen Knickmeyer,, "Native American Rep. Deb Haaland to lead Department of the Interior, which oversees Bureau of Indian Affairs," 17 Dec. 2020 But those balances have also fallen by the most in percent terms, indicating that if the trend continues, the lowest earners will deplete their gains faster than higher earners, the report showed. Reade Pickert,, "Americans Run Down Checking Accounts as Aid Cutoff Approaches," 16 Dec. 2020 As other teams have discovered, contact tracing can quickly deplete a roster. Chuck Carlton, Dallas News, "Urban Meyer’s comments, positive COVID-19 tests within the Longhorns, and what it all means for Tom Herman," 6 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for deplete

Time Traveler

The first known use of deplete was in 1807

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Statistics for deplete

Last Updated

17 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Deplete.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for deplete



English Language Learners Definition of deplete

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


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.


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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