Synonym Chooser

How is the word impoverish distinct from other similar verbs?

Some common synonyms of impoverish are bankrupt, deplete, drain, and exhaust. While all these words mean "to deprive of something essential to existence or potency," impoverish suggests a deprivation of something essential to richness or productiveness.

impoverished soil

When would bankrupt be a good substitute for impoverish?

In some situations, the words bankrupt and impoverish are roughly equivalent. However, bankrupt suggests impoverishment to the point of imminent collapse.

war had bankrupted the nation of resources

When might deplete be a better fit than impoverish?

The meanings of deplete and impoverish largely overlap; however, deplete implies a reduction in number or quantity so as to endanger the ability to function.

depleting our natural resources

When can drain be used instead of impoverish?

While in some cases nearly identical to impoverish, drain implies a gradual withdrawal and ultimate deprivation of what is necessary to an existence.

personal tragedy had drained him of all spirit

In what contexts can exhaust take the place of impoverish?

The words exhaust and impoverish are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, exhaust stresses a complete emptying.

her lecture exhausted the subject

Thesaurus Entries Near impoverish

Cite this Entry

“Impoverish.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

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