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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Synonyms

absorb, burn, consume, devour, drain, draw down, exhaust, expend, play out, spend, use up

Antonyms

renew, replace

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

But since 2014, the state has had a law against depleting aquifers, and farmers soon won’t be able to take out more water than goes in. Nathanael Johnson, WIRED, "Are Avocados Toast?," 24 May 2018 Spectacular multiple-car wrecks depleted the field and brought into question the frequent promotional claim that these 40 drivers are the very best on the planet. Mike Hembree, USA TODAY, "Hembree: Daytona 500 lives up to billing with wild finish," 18 Feb. 2018 Stock was called up along with Kazuhisa Makita on Sunday to help fortify the Padres’ depleted bullpen. Kevin Acee, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Padres notes: Margot back on top; Renfroe tumbles; Hedges returns," 24 June 2018 Holmes may have depleted her wealth in earlier settlements with jilted Theranos investors, leading to a reduced payment to the SEC. Rebecca Robbins, STAT, "Sign up for our biotech newsletter, The Readout," 19 Mar. 2018 By the late 1970s, the population was so depleted that coyotes – which the bigger wolves naturally chased away or killed – began to settle in the same range. Anchorage Daily News, "This distinctively American wolf may be going extinct in the wild – again," 5 Feb. 2018 If trends hold, smart machines—computers and robots equipped with artificial intelligence—will deplete the professional job market in the next decade as ruthlessly as automation and robots did the assembly lines in the 1980s. Gabrielle Jonas, Newsweek, "Where Have All the Good Jobs Gone? Ask a Robot.," 30 Nov. 2014 There was concern that such a move early on could have caused undue public anxiety and triggered a rush of people who weren’t considered at risk to get inoculated, possibly depleting the vaccine supply. Michael Smolens, sandiegouniontribune.com, "A new twist on San Diego's homeless-hepatitis nexus," 20 May 2018 The Army, its numbers depleted after World War I, wanted photos of sporting events for a new recruitment campaign. Frank Fitzpatrick, Philly.com, "Bill Tilden and the fateful day that launched a legend | Frank's Place," 2 Mar. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about deplete

Statistics for deplete

Last Updated

6 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for deplete

The first known use of deplete was in 1807

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on deplete

What made you want to look up deplete? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a strong desire or propensity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!