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

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Synonyms for deprive


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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 The failure to do so in this case, said those involved in some of the inquiries, would further erode trust in the government and deprive the public of the kinds of lessons that could prevent another such attack., 29 May 2021 Trees and mountains can provide shade on hot days but can deprive the house of natural light, so the landscaping needs to be strategic. Damien Willems, Forbes, 28 May 2021 The results, if confirmed after the votes are fully counted by Saturday evening, would deprive the Scottish National Party of a symbolic victory in a closely-fought election., 9 May 2021 Unlike most public servants, however, officers have the legal power to deprive citizens of their freedom in a split-second decision, at their own discretion, possibly while pointing a gun. Galia Cohen, The Conversation, 7 May 2021 And refusing to participate in the process can deprive their states of funding for key projects that might not otherwise get federal money. Emily Brooks, Washington Examiner, 21 Apr. 2021 Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Large algal blooms can deprive water of oxygen, killing or displacing fish and other wildlife. WSJ, 7 Apr. 2021 But lower production levels deprive national budgets of money at a difficult time. David Mchugh, Anchorage Daily News, 2 Apr. 2021 All the anti-Kaepernickers who rail at his disrespect for American soldiers, must be incensed at any efforts to deprive Americans of their vote. Scott Ostler,, 15 Aug. 2020

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.

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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 entry 1

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Time Traveler for deprive

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

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Statistics for deprive

Last Updated

12 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Deprive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jun. 2021.

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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 deprive (audio) \ noun


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