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

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 My point is that skipping restaurant dining isn’t exactly deprivation. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, 14 Jan. 2022 My point is that skipping restaurant dining isn’t exactly deprivation. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, 14 Jan. 2022 Federal civil rights law requires prosecutors to prove willful deprivation of a person’s rights, which means mistakes, negligence and poor judgement don’t necessarily qualify, the DOJ said in a Friday evening statement. Joe Walsh, Forbes, 8 Oct. 2021 More specifically, then-US secretary of state Mike Pompeo accused Chinese authorities in Xinjiang of: 1️⃣ Arbitrary imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty of more than one million civilians. Annabelle Timsit, Quartz, 9 July 2021 Lawmakers created the program to manage the care of children born with severe physical and cognitive disabilities as the result of oxygen deprivation or spinal cord injury at birth. Carol Marbin Miller, ProPublica, 22 June 2021 But three experts called by the prosecution have said Floyd died of oxygen deprivation under the pressure of officers on his neck and back, not a drug overdose. Erin Donaghue, CBS News, 10 Apr. 2021 On Wednesday, a federal grand jury returned an additional indictment charging Vanderpool with deprivation of civil rights under color of law. Washington Post, 9 Sep. 2021 Can the rights of one community depend, in perpetuity, on the deprivation of rights in another? Anand Gopal, The New Yorker, 6 Sep. 2021

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

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

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Last Updated

18 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Deprivation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on deprivation

Nglish: Translation of deprivation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of deprivation for Arabic Speakers


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