Synonym Chooser

How is the word deplete distinct from other similar verbs?

Some common synonyms of deplete are bankrupt, drain, exhaust, and impoverish. While all these words mean "to deprive of something essential to existence or potency," deplete implies a reduction in number or quantity so as to endanger the ability to function.

depleting our natural resources

When is bankrupt a more appropriate choice than deplete?

Although the words bankrupt and deplete have much in common, bankrupt suggests impoverishment to the point of imminent collapse.

war had bankrupted the nation of resources

When is it sensible to use drain instead of deplete?

The synonyms drain and deplete 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 can exhaust be used instead of deplete?

In some situations, the words exhaust and deplete are roughly equivalent. However, exhaust stresses a complete emptying.

her lecture exhausted the subject

In what contexts can impoverish take the place of deplete?

While in some cases nearly identical to deplete, impoverish suggests a deprivation of something essential to richness or productiveness.

impoverished soil

Thesaurus Entries Near deplete

Cite this Entry

“Deplete.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

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