dep·​ri·​va·​tion | \ ˌde-prə-ˈvā-shən How to pronounce deprivation (audio) also ˌdē-ˌprī- How to pronounce deprivation (audio) \

Definition of deprivation

1 : the state of being kept from possessing, enjoying, or using something : the state of being deprived : privation especially : removal from an office, dignity, or benefice
2 : an act or instance of withholding or taking something away from someone or something : an act or instance of depriving : loss overcoming the deprivations of their childhoods the hazards of oxygen deprivation

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Synonyms for deprivation


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Examples of deprivation in a Sentence

She is studying the effects of sleep deprivation. She eventually overcame the deprivations of her childhood.
Recent Examples on the Web In this sense, hallucinations during deprivation may in fact be a feature of the system rather than a bug. David Eagleman, Time, "Why Do We Dream? A New Theory on How It Protects Our Brains," 29 Dec. 2020 The lawsuit claims the deputy violated Womack's constitutional rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, which protect against unreasonable searches and deprivation of life and liberty. CBS News, "Disturbing video shows deputy "intentionally" running over Black man, lawsuit claims," 18 Dec. 2020 According to the indictment, the value of these tires exceeded $20.9 million and resulted in a deprivation to the U.S. of more than $6.5 million in import duties. Alison Medley, Chron, "Two Texas residents busted in $26M international tire scheme," 17 Dec. 2020 The coronavirus pandemic has only deepened that deprivation, with unemployment on the rise as authorities struggle to sustain a bloated public sector wage bill. Washington Post, "Protests flare in Iraq’s Kurdish north, adding new front in national crisis," 12 Dec. 2020 Sewage discharge and run off from riverside farms polluted the water and local Māori continued to live in deprivation. Julia Hollingsworth, CNN, "This river in New Zealand is legally a person. Here's how it happened," 11 Dec. 2020 As the rollout gathers steam, the JCVI is also advising local NHS providers, public health teams and community leaders to keep an eye out for any potential health inequalities linked to ethnicity, deprivation or access to health care. Pan Pylas, Star Tribune, "Who, when and how? A look at the UK's vaccination rollout," 2 Dec. 2020 While the people outside her fortress suffer in deprivation, the Magistrate lives in a virtual paradise in comparison. Lauren Morgan,, "The Mandalorian recap: Mando meets a Jedi legend — and learns Baby Yoda's name," 27 Nov. 2020 Other Provo Canyon students came forward with stories of staff piling on and restraining students, teens who were chemically sedated, long periods of isolation and even deprivation of needed medications. Robert Gehrke, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Robert Gehrke: Utah should take these steps to protect kids in residential treatment programs," 25 Nov. 2020

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for deprivation

see deprive

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Time Traveler for deprivation

Time Traveler

The first known use of deprivation was in the 15th century

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Statistics for deprivation

Last Updated

6 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Deprivation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for deprivation


How to pronounce deprivation (audio) How to pronounce deprivation (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of deprivation

: the state of not having something that people need : the state of being deprived of something


de·​pri·​va·​tion | \ ˌde-prə-ˈvā-shən How to pronounce deprivation (audio) , ˌdē-ˌprī- \

Kids Definition of deprivation

1 : a taking or keeping away a deprivation of rights
2 : the state of having something taken away sleep deprivation


de·​pri·​va·​tion | \ ˌdep-rə-ˈvā-shən How to pronounce deprivation (audio) , ˌdē-ˌprī- How to pronounce deprivation (audio) \

Medical Definition of deprivation

: the act or process of removing or the condition resulting from removal of something normally present and usually essential for mental or physical well-being his nervous system may have been affected by early oxygen deprivation— Jack Fincher sleep deprivation

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