de·prive | \ di-ˈprīv \
deprived; depriving

Definition of deprive 

transitive verb

1 obsolete : remove 'tis honor to deprive dishonored life —Shakespeare

2 : to take something away from deprived him of his professorship —J. M. Phalen the risk of injury when the brain is deprived of oxygen

3 : to remove from office the Archbishop … would be deprived and sent to the Tower —Edith Sitwell

4 : to withhold something from deprived a citizen of her rights

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Synonyms & Antonyms for deprive


defrock, depose, dethrone, displace, oust, uncrown, unmake, unseat, unthrone


crown, enthrone, throne

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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

According to those who run urban data analytics programs across the country, building a thoughtful city resident isn’t as easy as forcing annoyed and sleep-deprived youngsters to pass an ethics class. Alex Davies, WIRED, "Cities Are Watching You—Urban Sciences Graduates Watch Back," 25 June 2018 That exemption will also deprive revenue from the county, SAISD, Alamo Community Colleges, the University Health System and other entities. Richard Webner, San Antonio Express-News, "City considers sale of land to developer at discount," 14 June 2018 Perhaps as a result, many students have a difficult time focusing, are distracted by devices during class and are sleep-deprived. New York Times, "What’s the Biggest Challenge for Colleges and Universities?," 5 June 2018 Being very sleep-deprived can exacerbate your body’s normal tremor so that your hands wind up shaking noticeably. Alison Goldman, SELF, "7 Possible Reasons Your Hands Are Shaking," 21 May 2018 Labour deprived the Conservatives of their majority in a general election last year. The Economist, "Corbynomics would change Britain—but not in the way most people think," 17 May 2018 The next year, after the family moved to West Linn, family friend Alexandra Argyropoulos told Oregon child welfare officials that the Hart parents have been depriving their kids of food as punishment. Kale Williams,, "Sheriff backtracks, now says neither Hart mom was wearing seatbelt at time of crash," 5 Apr. 2018 Yet the look is always one that deprives them of freedom rather than liberating them. Alastair Macaulay, New York Times, "With Batsheva, Politics Inside and Outside the Joyce Theater," 11 July 2018 German Chancellor Angela Merkel is about to find out whether party rebels against her migration policy are ready to back off or will push ahead with a political crisis that could deprive her of a parliamentary majority. Arne Delfs,, "Merkel Faces Crunch Time in Showdown on Migrant Policy," 1 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.

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First Known Use of deprive

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

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Phrases Related to deprive

deprive of

Statistics for deprive

Last Updated

24 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for deprive

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

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More Definitions for deprive


de·prive | \ di-ˈprīv \
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 \
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- \ noun

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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).


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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