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 \ -​ˈplē-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce depletable (audio) \ adjective
depleter \ -​ˈplē-​tər How to pronounce depleter (audio) \ noun
depletion \ -​ˈplē-​shən How to pronounce depletion (audio) \ noun
depletive \ -​ˈplē-​tiv How to pronounce depletive (audio) \ 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

Ivan Rakitic scored on a penalty kick in the second half, lifting depleted Croatia to a 1-0 win over Mexico on Tuesday night. Afp, chicagotribune.com, "Rakitic penalty kick earns Croatia a victory over Mexico," 28 Mar. 2018 With gas reservoirs depleting from the U.K. to the Netherlands, Germany is becoming increasingly reliant on Russia for its energy needs at a time when political tensions are mounting with Vladimir Putin's government in Moscow. Anna Shiryaevskaya And Brian Parkin, Houston Chronicle, "Germany looks to LNG to cut reliance on Russian gas," 19 Mar. 2018 The keto diet will absolutely cause a weight loss – but a lot of this weight is water from glycogen stores, which become depleted due to low carb intake. Kimberly Mugler, Rd, Ldn, Philly.com, "A dietitian weighs in on the Ketogenic diet for weight loss," 13 Mar. 2018 Beijing was likely watching states in the Farm Belt to see whether Trump’s trade war depleted his support, though tariffs didn’t seem to be a top issue in those races. Jen Kirby, Vox, "The world was watching the 2018 midterms. Here’s how some countries responded.," 7 Nov. 2018 Roberta Jaffe, here with her husband, Steve Gliessman, worries Harvard could deplete the aquifer. Russell Gold, WSJ, "Harvard Quietly Amasses California Vineyards—and the Water Underneath," 10 Dec. 2018 The oxygen in the cave is depleted because the area where the kids are trapped does not seem to be receiving much ventilation from the surface. Brian Resnick, Vox, "Why the trapped Thai soccer team is in increasing trouble: they’re running out of oxygen," 6 July 2018 Of the 600 fisheries monitored by the FAO, more than half are depleted to the point of yielding little to no catch. Chris Johns, National Geographic, "High Seas Fishing Isn’t Just Destructive—It’s Unprofitable," 6 June 2018 The program’s reserves are expected to be depleted in 2034, according to the trustees report, the same projection as last year. Anna Edney, Bloomberg.com, "Medicare Fund Falls Short in 2026, Sooner Than Last Forecast," 5 June 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

11 Mar 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 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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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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