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 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

Synonyms

Antonyms

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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 Wastewater infrastructure enhancements and other municipal water projects would deplete the fund, the critics say. Tony Kennedy, Star Tribune, "Senate panel again tries to alter projects with constitutional backing," 8 Apr. 2021 In fact, venturing deeper into financial services space could further deplete Paytm’s coffers, believe experts. Prathamesh Mulye, Quartz, "India’s most-valued unicorn has spread itself too thin," 22 Mar. 2021 While many Americans may have had to deplete savings just to survive, the overall savings rate hit new heights during the pandemic. San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego’s economy was rocked in ’20. But could it have been worse?," 20 Mar. 2021 Knowledge begets knowledge and does not deplete when used. Dimitri Zenghelis, Forbes, "Can We Be Green And Grow?," 19 Mar. 2021 In addition to wiping down surfaces, Marr recommends opening the vents and door for 15-30 minutes to allow aerosols to deplete. USA Today, "Outdoor seating isn’t always safer than indoor dining. Here’s why.," 17 Mar. 2021 Water experts worry Utah, which experienced its driest year ever in 2020, is banking on water that might not be available and could further deplete Lake Powell. Star Tribune, "Western states chart diverging paths as water shortages loom," 10 Mar. 2021 This would only further deplete the already scarce affordable housing supply. Brenda Richardson, Forbes, "What The Rental Housing Industry Needs To Bounce Back From The Pandemic," 1 Mar. 2021 High performance always involves talented and productive teams, and neglecting how those teams operate can quickly deplete competitive advantage. Michael B. Arthur, Forbes, "Promoting And Succeeding At Talent Liberation," 28 Feb. 2021

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

18 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Deplete.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deplete. Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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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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Comments on deplete

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