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

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

The Lancia is mid-engined, with a firewall behind the driver and passenger that deprives it of any real utility; even the 200 road cars were strictly two-seaters with no real cargo space. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Volvo’s new V60 is proof the station wagon must never die," 17 Oct. 2018 The unprecedented Alphabet restructuring in the summer of 2015 deprived it of key Google resources, according to CNET, and the company was asked to meet more rigorous milestones and develop products faster. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Nest CEO steps down as division is brought under the Google Home team," 17 July 2018 The #MeToo movement, driven by righteous rage and demands for dignity, is an opportunity to upgrade the antiquated definition of forgiveness that deprives women of empowerment and healing. Megan Feldman Bettencourt, Harper's BAZAAR, "How Forgiveness Has Been Weaponized Against Women," 25 Sep. 2018 Oakleigh was deprived of blood flow and died of suffocation. Eileen Reslen, Country Living, "Walker Hayes and His Wife Laney Open Up About Their Newborn Daughter's Heartbreaking Death," 22 Aug. 2018 The experimental group was sleep deprived, getting less than a quarter of their day to sleep. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "How you end up sleep-deprived matters," 23 May 2018 In Settle's case, those blood vessels had dried out and snapped, depriving part of her brain of blood and oxygen and causing a TIA. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "'Greatest Showman' Star Keala Settle Reveals She Was Diagnosed With Moyamoya Disease," 28 Nov. 2018 Assumed to be a Greek trading vessel, the ship was so well preserved because it was buried deep in the Black Sea in anoxic (oxygen-deprived) water. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Greek Trading Ship That Sank 2,400 Years Ago Found Intact," 23 Oct. 2018 Trees that have been deprived of water due to drought (like much of California) are more likely to die in wildfires. Lauren Young, Teen Vogue, "California Wildfires Are Proof of Climate Change, According to Governor Jerry Brown," 2 Aug. 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 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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about deprive

Statistics for deprive

Last Updated

15 Jan 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 \
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

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).


someone who never drinks alcohol

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!