de·​prive | \ di-ˈprīv How to pronounce deprive (audio) \
deprived; depriving

Definition of deprive

transitive verb

1 : to take something away from deprived him of his professorship— J. M. Phalen the risk of injury when the brain is deprived of oxygen
2 : to withhold something from deprived a citizen of her rights
3 : to remove from office the Archbishop … would be deprived and sent to the Tower— Edith Sitwell
4 obsolete : remove 'tis honor to deprive dishonored life— Shakespeare

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for deprive


abate, bereave, divest, strip

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of deprive in a Sentence

working those long hours was depriving him of his sleep one of scores of bishops who had been deprived after the anticlericals came to power

Recent Examples on the Web

Much like our Lord and Savior Rihanna, Met Gala standbys Blake Lively and husband/arm candy Ryan Reynolds failed to make an appearance at the 2019 event, depriving the masses of a swoon-worthy gown and some very cute PDA. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Blake Lively Missed the 2019 Met Gala and People Are Not Pleased," 7 May 2019 Prince George may be third in line for the throne of the United Kingdom, but that doesn't mean that he has been deprived of the hallmark normalcies of a run-of-the-mill childhood. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "Prince George Officially Has a Nickname from His Friends at School," 16 Apr. 2019 We have been deprived of the representations that engage the realities of our lives. Samhita Mukhopadhyay, Teen Vogue, ""Shrill," Starring Aidy Bryant, Is a Revolution for Fat Representation," 22 Mar. 2019 They were often deprived of sleep and monitored with cameras. Summer Said, WSJ, "Saudi Arabia Accused of Torturing Women’s-Rights Activists in Widening Crackdown on Dissent," 20 Nov. 2018 Three days before the fatal crash, social service authorities in Washington state had opened an investigation apparently prompted by a neighbor's complaint that the children were being deprived of food. Crimesider Staff, CBS News, "Hart family crash: Surveillance image reviewed as search widens for 3 missing kids," 4 Apr. 2018 This would deprive the board of the training division's insights and expertise, their report said. Maxine Bernstein,, "Report: Don't allow Portland cops involved in shootings to view video evidence before interview," 9 Feb. 2018 The lawsuit filed in 2015 argues that government officials have known for more than 50 years that carbon pollution from fossil fuels was causing climate change and that policies on oil and gas deprive the young people of life, liberty and property. Phuong Le, The Seattle Times, "Young climate activists say their lawsuit should go to trial," 23 Oct. 2018 Critics argue that rebooting franchises with a black lead deprives people of color of their own original stories. Jill Robi, Glamour, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer Is Coming Back With a Black Female Lead—and I'm Here for It," 27 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deprive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of deprive

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

History and Etymology for deprive

Middle English depriven, from Anglo-French depriver, from Medieval Latin deprivare, from Latin de- + privare to deprive — more at private

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about deprive

Statistics for deprive

Last Updated

21 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for deprive

The first known use of deprive was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for deprive


de·​prive | \ di-ˈprīv How to pronounce deprive (audio) \
deprived; depriving

Kids Definition of deprive

: to take something away from or keep from having something Mr. Sir was no longer depriving him of water.— Louis Sachar, Holes


transitive verb
de·​prive | \ di-ˈprīv How to pronounce deprive (audio) \
deprived; depriving

Medical Definition of deprive

: to take something away from and especially something that is usually considered essential for mental or physical well-being a child deprived of emotional support tissue deprived of oxygen


transitive verb
deprived; depriving

Legal Definition of deprive

: to take away or withhold something from no person shall…be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of lawU.S. Constitution amend. V

Other Words from deprive

deprivation \ ˌde-​prə-​ˈvā-​shən, ˌdē-​ˌprī-​ How to pronounce deprivation (audio) \ noun

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on deprive

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with deprive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for deprive

Spanish Central: Translation of deprive

Nglish: Translation of deprive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of deprive for Arabic Speakers

Comments on deprive

What made you want to look up deprive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that collects or salvages junk

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!