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 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

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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

In Arkansas researchers found water levels in 51 percent of its streams dangerously depleted due to water withdrawals for fracking operations. Stephen Leahy, National Geographic, "Fracking boom tied to methane spike in Earth’s atmosphere," 15 Aug. 2019 Because fracking depletes wells quickly, companies must spend more to sustain output. The Economist, "Investors fee the Permian," 9 Aug. 2019 With their saving depleted, Kenny started delivering for Uber Eats in January. René A. Guzman, ExpressNews.com, "Dead Tree Books lives on as San Antonio’s only South Side bookstore," 9 Aug. 2019 The move is an attempt to stop money pouring out of the country and shore up the country's foreign currency reserves, which are being depleted rapidly as Argentina attempts to support the peso. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "Argentina slaps controls on the peso as currency crisis grows," 2 Sep. 2019 Olszewski played a little cornerback in the fourth preseason game, but his appearance at corner came when injuries at the position (along with several roster locks not playing) left the team depleted. Nora Princiotti, BostonGlobe.com, "Patience, perseverance paid off for Gunner Olszewski on cut-down day," 1 Sep. 2019 Little rainfall during this year’s warm, dry summer rapidly depleted some public water supplies in the City of Seldovia and Native Village of Nanwalek, the borough said. Tegan Hanlon, Anchorage Daily News, "Low water supply in two Kenai Peninsula communities prompts disaster declaration," 31 Aug. 2019 There are many reasons to be appalled by this year’s Amazon fires, but depleting Earth’s oxygen supply is not one of them. Scott Denning, Scientific American, "Destructive Amazon Fires Do Not Threaten Earth’s Oxygen, Expert Says," 27 Aug. 2019 There are many reasons to be appalled by this year’s Amazon fires, but depleting Earth’s oxygen supply is not one of them. The Conversation, oregonlive.com, "Amazon fires are alarming -- but, no, they won’t deplete Earth’s oxygen: The Conversation," 26 Aug. 2019

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

9 Sep 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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