deplete

verb
de·​plete | \ di-ˈplēt \
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 \ -​ˈplē-​tə-​bəl \ adjective
depleter \ -​ˈplē-​tər \ noun
depletion \ -​ˈplē-​shən \ noun
depletive \ -​ˈplē-​tiv \ 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 addition to its antioxidant properties, vitamin E may also protect the skin by absorbing UV light, but it is rapidly depleted by UVB, which is why Dr. Chang recommends using it in combination with other antioxidants. Jenn Sinrich, SELF, "The Best Antioxidants for Skin, According to Dermatologists," 8 Nov. 2018 Actually, no: The Medicare report projected that its hospital insurance trust fund, which applies to Medicare Part A, will be depleted in 2026. Michael Hiltzik, latimes.com, "Social Security and Medicare trustees confirm: GOP policies have hurt both programs," 5 June 2018 Pearls harvested from these beds, which were depleted in about 150 years, are visible in 16th and 17th century portraiture. Nancy Macdonell, WSJ, "How Classic Pearls Became Improbably Hip," 11 Dec. 2018 When the coral there was depleted, King Charles Emmanuel III gave them this island in order to repopulate the western coast of Sardinia. Kyre Chenven, Condé Nast Traveler, "For Sardinia’s Wild Side, Head to Sulcis," 12 Oct. 2018 Some aid is available on a first-come, first serve basis until the funds are depleted, said Rick Castellano, spokesman for Sallie Mae. Sarah Skidmore Sell, The Seattle Times, "Financial aid season kicks off with 1st day for applications," 1 Oct. 2018 After the coal seams were depleted the site was left flattened, carved with dirt roads and stripped of vegetation. Leslie Nemo, Scientific American, "From Defiled to Wild—Can a Spent Coal Mine Be Reborn as a Nature Conservation Center?," 11 July 2018 In the final stages of starvation, the body, depleted of glucose and fatty acids, turns to muscle protein for energy. Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "Not So Fast," 24 Sep. 2018 Was each closing of my correspondence depleting the impact of everything that had come before? Chloe Schama, Vogue, "“XOXO”: What Does Your Email Sign-Off Say About You?," 20 Sep. 2018

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

14 Jan 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 \
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 \
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

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