de·​pop·​u·​late | \ (ˌ)dē-ˈpä-pyə-ˌlāt How to pronounce depopulate (audio) \
depopulated; depopulating; depopulates

Definition of depopulate

transitive verb

1 obsolete : ravage
2 : to reduce greatly the population of

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Other Words from depopulate

depopulation \ (ˌ)dē-​ˌpä-​pyə-​ˈlā-​shən How to pronounce depopulation (audio) \ noun

Examples of depopulate in a Sentence

Large areas of the country had been depopulated by disease.
Recent Examples on the Web People knew about the shoes, but the ultimate extravagance to me was depopulating an island in the South China Sea, kicking off the indigenous people and bringing in exotic animals from Africa. Rebecca Keegan, The Hollywood Reporter, "Finding the Truth in a Time of Media Mistrust: The Documentary Roundtable," 7 Nov. 2019 At a time when companies in depopulating eastern Germany need immigrants to fill skilled and unskilled jobs, some voters want to pull up the drawbridge. The Economist, "Deutschland AG worries about the rise of the hard-right AfD," 5 Sep. 2019 The work would take place at Windy Ridge Whitetails in Mineral Point, a CWD-positive deer farm that was depopulated in 2018. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Conservation groups ask Gov. Evers to veto proposed CWD deer farm study," 2 July 2019 The last holdouts surrendered in 2016 and the government depopulated the town, once home to 300,000 people, thereafter. Philip Issa, Fox News, "In Syria, civil registers disclose hundreds of prison deaths," 3 Aug. 2018 Today, Forgottonia often is viewed as a depopulating region where nature is reasserting itself. Ted Gregory,, "Could there be a wolf pack living in Illinois? Man’s trail camera footage prompts experts to conduct testing," 19 June 2018 Many are also critical of a decision by the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to allow some CWD-positive facilities in Wisconsin to continue to operate rather than be depopulated. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Why are deer farms compensated for diseased herds?," 9 June 2018 State agriculture officials depopulated a Mineral Point deer farm last week over chronic wasting disease concerns, the second such action at a Wisconsin captive cervid facility in two months. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "State agriculture officials depopulate another deer farm over CWD concerns," 26 May 2018 Photo: Francesco Lastrucci for The Wall Street Journal When Bulgaria’s communist government collapsed in 1990, the country’s rural areas rapidly disintegrated and depopulated. Henry Wismayer, WSJ, "Undiscovered Europe: A Vacation Like No Other," 23 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'depopulate.' 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 depopulate

1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for depopulate

Latin depopulatus, past participle of depopulari, from de- + populari to ravage

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Statistics for depopulate

Last Updated

14 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for depopulate

The first known use of depopulate was in 1548

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More Definitions for depopulate


How to pronounce depopulate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of depopulate

: to greatly reduce the number of people living in (a city, region, etc.)

More from Merriam-Webster on depopulate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with depopulate

Britannica English: Translation of depopulate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on depopulate

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something of little or no value

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