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

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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 Buyers in many markets are being forced to put up to 40% - 50% down which in the case of many first-time homebuyers can deplete most if not all of their savings. Peter Lane Taylor, Forbes, 28 May 2021 Officials weren't sure how easily the coronavirus spread between people and were concerned that widespread mask-wearing would deplete the scarce protective equipment front-line health workers needed. Richard Galant, CNN, 16 May 2021 India has become the latest epicenter of the coronavirus worldwide, as overwhelmed hospitals there deplete supplies of beds, high-flow oxygen and necessary medicines. Los Angeles Times, 12 May 2021 Initially, they were considered a good replacement for CFCs, which drift high into the stratosphere and deplete the ozone layer. Peter Krouse, cleveland, 10 May 2021 Read more: Does Bob Baffert's past drug issues deplete his benefit of the doubt in Medina Spirit case? Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, 14 May 2021 Presently, when drivers deplete their push-to-pass tool in a race, there’s no building back up their turbo pool, and using that up too early in a race can have drastic consequences in down-to-the-wire race situations. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, 27 Mar. 2021 More: Does Bob Baffert's past drug issues deplete his benefit of the doubt in Medina Spirit case? Reina Kempt, The Courier-Journal, 10 May 2021 The study, published in Nature, found that stress caused those cells to deplete, and the effect was permanent — and resulted in gray. Annie Vainshtein, San Francisco Chronicle, 11 Apr. 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

17 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Deplete.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deplete. Accessed 17 Jun. 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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