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 depopulate (audio) \ noun

Examples of depopulate in a Sentence

Large areas of the country had been depopulated by disease.
Recent Examples on the Web Bill Gates is using the vaccine to depopulate the world. Karen Kaplan Science And Medicine Editor, Los Angeles Times, 25 June 2021 Cities balloon or depopulate over the course of decades. Matt Simon, Wired, 14 Oct. 2020 The filing also makes broader allegations that cleaning at the states’ prisons is insufficient in light of COVID-19 and that the system remains crowded, despite some efforts to depopulate it. Elise Schmelzer, The Denver Post, 28 May 2020 Patterson's co-op made the tough decision to depopulate and euthanize nearly 3,400 pigs, worth about $500,000. Jack Turman, CBS News, 9 June 2020 The areas that were thereby depopulated remained so for a long time thereafter; many became the wildlife reserves for which Tanzania is famous today. Carey Baraka, Quartz Africa, 26 Apr. 2020 Advocates say that by 2024 the spaceport will bring as much as £79 million in economic activity to the rapidly depopulating region, whose young people have to head far south to Inverness or Edinburgh to find work. Dayna Evans,, 9 May 2020 Michele Minton, the director of live operations for Allen Harim Foods, told growers in a letter on April 8 that it would be forced to start depopulating chickens on April 10. Christine Hauser, New York Times, 28 Apr. 2020 Already, a number of county jails have moved to depopulate their facilities because of the coronavirus, which as of Friday has infected more than 3,300 people in Ohio, killing 91. Jeremy Pelzer, cleveland, 3 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for depopulate

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The first known use of depopulate was in 1548

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Cite this Entry

“Depopulate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for depopulate

Britannica English: Translation of depopulate for Arabic Speakers


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