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


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 In doing so, Denmark has become the first European Union country to deprive Syrian refugees of their asylum status, even as Syria remains shattered. New York Times, "They ‘Bombed My Dream’: Denmark Strips Some Syrians of Residency Status," 14 Apr. 2021 Nirenberg has so far refused to debate his opponents one-on-one, part of a broader effort to deprive his main contender, Brockhouse, of oxygen. Joshua Fechter, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio mayoral candidates debate police reform, pandemic response," 9 Apr. 2021 Many believe the pandemic has accelerated a digitization of the global economy and would deprive them of tax revenues that will be needed to repair their finances after the pandemic is contained. Richard Rubin, WSJ, "Yellen Removes Obstacle to Global Corporate-Tax Deal," 26 Feb. 2021 Stone’s experience teaches that the appearance of feminine power in the media can be used as a weapon to deprive real-life women of actual power. Jo Livingstone, The New Republic, "Sharon Stone and the Fantasy of Female Domination," 30 Mar. 2021 Abusers often use violence, intimidation, degradation, and isolation to deprive victims of their rights to physical security, dignity and respect. Patricia Fersch, Forbes, "Domestic Violence: Coercion And Control Equates To A Loss Of Liberty, Sense Of Self, And Dignity For Women," 19 Mar. 2021 Voters unaware of the unusual circumstances might cast enough votes for the ineligible candidates to deprive Luna of the majority required to be elected. Andres Picon, San Antonio Express-News, "Election will set course of San Antonio's Harlandale ISD under TEA oversight," 28 Mar. 2021 Gaetz and Jordan want Congress to probe the process of conservatorships over concerns about their use to deprive Americans of personal freedoms by others through the courts, according to their letter. Kris Van Cleave, CBS News, "Republicans Matt Gaetz and Jim Jordan try to free Britney Spears," 11 Mar. 2021 People who want to turn a peaceful protest into a riot and are intent on breaking the law do not have the right to deprive peaceful protesters of their right to freedom of speech and their right to assemble. David P. Hutchinson, Star Tribune, "During trial, free speech, public safety will both be protected," 6 Mar. 2021

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 entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about deprive

Time Traveler for deprive

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for deprive

Last Updated

25 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Deprive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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 deprive (audio) \ noun

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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