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



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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 As the batteries are emptied in a standard battery management system, the whole pack dies and stops providing power when the first battery cell is depleted, as shown in the video above. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "Old Electric Car Batteries Are Now Powering the Grid," 27 Jan. 2020 As groundwater is depleted, Arizona is suffering losses that may not be recouped for thousands of years. Ian James, azcentral, "Arizona lawmakers call for measuring groundwater pumping in rural areas," 16 Jan. 2020 The Hellfighters, formally known as the 369th Infantry, began as cooks and stevedores for the French, but moved to the front to fight, often with valor, as French forces were depleted. National Geographic, "How is a 'step back' different from abdication?," 13 Jan. 2020 After the islands’ natural resources were depleted, the local economy failed—except on the island Mayotte, which is an overseas department of France. Jeff Sharlet, Harper's magazine, "Oceans Apart," 9 Jan. 2020 Both teams are depleted on the defensive end and the Cavs’ back-to-back situation will result in a weaker defensive performance than usual. Esten Mclaren, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Minnesota Timberwolves at Cleveland Cavaliers odds, picks and best bets," 5 Jan. 2020 In September, an officer driving a Tesla Model S had to drop out of a police chase because his battery was nearly depleted, according to the East Bay Times. Vic Ryckaert, Indianapolis Star, "Bargersville chief turns heads in Indiana's first Tesla police car," 3 Jan. 2020 As one of the main drawbacks of intermittent fasting can be depleted energy, Bach said this could take a harder toll on women. Kelsey Hurwitz, Woman's Day, "Is Intermittent Fasting Different For Women? Here’s What You Should Know Before Trying It," 26 Dec. 2019 As the groundwater is depleted, Arizona is suffering permanent losses that may not be recouped for thousands of years., "Megafarms and deeper wells are draining the water beneath rural Arizona – quietly, irreversibly," 5 Dec. 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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Time Traveler for deplete

Time Traveler

The first known use of deplete was in 1807

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Statistics for deplete

Last Updated

11 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Deplete.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for deplete


How to pronounce deplete (audio)

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.
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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for deplete

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with deplete

Spanish Central: Translation of deplete

Nglish: Translation of deplete for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of deplete for Arabic Speakers

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