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


abate, bereave, divest, strip

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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

In recent years, channels and pay systems have thrown subscribers into the middle of disputes by depriving them of channels while urging them to contact their adversaries and complain they’re being either too cheap or too greedy. Ron Hurtibise,, "Worried that ESPN and Disney channels will soon leave DirecTV and U-verse? Here’s what we know," 16 Sep. 2019 Cephus sues the University of Wisconsin in federal court The simultaneous university investigation and criminal investigation, Cephus would argue in a federal lawsuit filed against the school on October 9, 2018, deprived him of a fair process. Michael Mccann,, "After Re-Admitting Quintez Cephus, Wisconsin Could Face a Tough Legal Battle," 7 Sep. 2019 Lone eyewitness to killing recanted his identification of Johnson A July report by the Conviction Integrity Unit in Gardner's office cited numerous errors and examples of misconduct by police and prosecutors that deprived Johnson of a fair trial. Ray Sanchez And Dave Cera, CNN, "He's served 24 years for a murder prosecutors say he didn't commit, but he's been denied a new trial," 29 Aug. 2019 Suhl was convicted on four of six charges: federal funds bribery, interstate travel in aid of bribery and two counts of fraud that deprives others of honest services. Benjamin Hardy, ProPublica, "Trump’s Get Out of Jail Free Card for a Convicted Scammer Is Full of Half-Truths and Omissions," 21 Aug. 2019 Simply displacing healthy meals and snacks with black coffee can become a form of restriction that deprives your body of nutrients, plus zaps your mental and physical energy. Cynthia Sass, Mph,, "Can the Coffee Diet Really Help With Weight Loss—and Is It Safe?," 19 July 2019 Salvini is seeking to whip up his base in opposition to the 5-Star-Democratic Party government that took office last week, depriving Salvini of his bully pulpit as Italy’s hard-line anti-migrant interior minister. Washington Post, "Thousands gather to support Italian hard-liner Salvini," 15 Sep. 2019 It was just gone 7 p.m. local time on Saturday when Danielle Kang rolled in a long birdie putt amid the gloom to clinch the last match of the afternoon fourballs for the US on the 17th hole, depriving the Europeans of the lead., "Europe, US tied, 8-8, after wild Day 2 at Solheim Cup - The Boston Globe," 15 Sep. 2019 Backers of drilling in ANWR say that blocking it would increase U.S. dependence on foreign oil and deprive local communities of jobs and resources. Reuters, The Mercury News, "House passes bill that repeals Alaska refuge drilling," 12 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for deprive

Last Updated

8 Oct 2019

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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 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

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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).


to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

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