Definition of deplete
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
depletableplay \-ˈplē-tə-bəl\ adjective
depleterplay \-ˈplē-tər\ noun
depletionplay \-ˈplē-shən\ noun
depletiveplay \-ˈplē-tiv\ adjective
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 of deplete from the Web
African lion bones are a relatively recent substitute in tonics for the bones of Asian tigers, whose numbers were depleted by poachers.
The state's adoption of the California standards for motor vehicles, setting limits for ozone-depleting emissions that are stricter than those required by the federal government.
Demand from China’s growing wealthy class has given rise to an international sourcing network that drops into one coastal community after another, often depleting sea cucumber populations before authorities have a chance to react.
Unlike the Paris Agreement, the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer is legally binding.
As Vivobarefoot’s website explains, large growths of algae block sunlight and deplete oxygen in the water, which throws off the balance of marine ecosystems.
His staff depleted, Giaquinto tried Nick Rubino for his first career start.
For the last five years, the drought severely depleted the Kern River, usually one of the fastest-flowing rivers in the West.
It can't be depleted through use, and so the marginal cost of each new person enjoying the good is nothing.
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.
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.
Synonym Discussion of deplete
DEPLETE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of deplete for English Language Learners
: to use most or all of (something important) : to greatly reduce the amount of (something)
DEPLETE Defined for Kids
Definition of deplete for Students
: to reduce in amount by using up The soil was depleted of minerals.
Word Root of deplete
The Latin word plēre, meaning “to fill,” gives us the root ple. Words from the Latin plēre have something to do with filling or being full. Anything replete with something is full of that particular thing or quality. Something complete is totally full and finished. To deplete is to lessen the amount of something that was once full. A supplement is something that fills in something that is missing.
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
Seen and Heard
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