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as in to ruin
to cause to lose one's fortune and become unable to pay one's debts several bad investments bankrupted him

Synonyms & Similar Words

Antonyms & Near Antonyms


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Synonym Chooser

How is the word bankrupt distinct from other similar verbs?

Some common synonyms of bankrupt are deplete, drain, exhaust, and impoverish. While all these words mean "to deprive of something essential to existence or potency," bankrupt suggests impoverishment to the point of imminent collapse.

war had bankrupted the nation of resources

When could deplete be used to replace bankrupt?

While in some cases nearly identical to bankrupt, deplete implies a reduction in number or quantity so as to endanger the ability to function.

depleting our natural resources

In what contexts can drain take the place of bankrupt?

The synonyms drain and bankrupt are sometimes interchangeable, but drain implies a gradual withdrawal and ultimate deprivation of what is necessary to an existence.

personal tragedy had drained him of all spirit

When is exhaust a more appropriate choice than bankrupt?

While the synonyms exhaust and bankrupt are close in meaning, exhaust stresses a complete emptying.

her lecture exhausted the subject

When would impoverish be a good substitute for bankrupt?

The meanings of impoverish and bankrupt largely overlap; however, impoverish suggests a deprivation of something essential to richness or productiveness.

impoverished soil

Thesaurus Entries Near bankrupt

Cite this Entry

“Bankrupt.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on bankrupt

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