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 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



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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 Since then, she’s been forced to deplete the money from her savings account that’s running out soon. Jessica Menton, USA TODAY, "'I hide in the bathroom and cry': Americans struggle with unemployment delays," 13 July 2020 If the account owner had not yet reached that age, the non-designated beneficiary would not have to take annual distributions, but would have to deplete the account within five years. Kathleen Pender,, "If you inherit a retirement account, make sure you read this," 4 July 2020 The leaves are hand-picked, and only a little at a time as to not deplete the plant. Erin Booke, Dallas News, "Dallas tea company imports rare leaves from woman-owned estate in Myanmar," 12 June 2020 Because of this and other combinations of factors, the Bipartisan Policy Center now estimates the aforementioned trust fund will be depleted in 2029 – six years sooner. Nathan Bachrach And Amy Wagner,, "Simply Money: How COVID-19 could impact Social Security," 27 May 2020 Barely a month into the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program, nearly two rounds of funding have been depleted. Anne Sraders, Fortune, "Goldman Sachs doubts there will be a Round 3 of PPP loans for small businesses," 5 May 2020 The program officially launched this week, but due to the overwhelming need, supplies have been depleted. Sonia Ramirez, Houston Chronicle, "Rebuilding Together Houston improving indoor air quality for families," 30 Apr. 2020 The initial round of funding for the program was depleted in just two weeks. Christopher Harress |, al, "No loans? Alabama businesses blame SBA and banks; new $484 billion relief law signed," 24 Apr. 2020 Forcing insurers to pay hundreds of billions of dollars a month could quickly deplete the $800 billion set aside to cover future home, auto and other losses, according to the insurance association. Michael Tarm, Anchorage Daily News, "Legal battles loom across the U.S. as businesses hit by pandemic shutdown sue insurers," 23 Apr. 2020

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

22 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Deplete.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for deplete


How to pronounce deplete (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of deplete

: to use most or all of (something important) : to greatly reduce the amount of (something)


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.
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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for deplete

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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