deplete

verb
de·​plete | \ di-ˈplēt How to pronounce deplete (audio) \
depleted; depleting

Definition of deplete

transitive verb

1 : to empty of a principal substance The lake was depleted of water. depleting the country of its natural resources
2 : to lessen markedly in quantity, content, power, or value deplete our life savings their depleted resources

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Other Words from deplete

depletable \ di-​ˈplē-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce deplete (audio) \ adjective
depleter \ di-​ˈplē-​tər How to pronounce deplete (audio) \ noun
depletion \ di-​ˈplē-​shən How to pronounce deplete (audio) \ noun
depletive \ di-​ˈplē-​tiv How to pronounce deplete (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for deplete

Synonyms

Antonyms

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Choose the Right Synonym for deplete

deplete, drain, exhaust, impoverish, bankrupt 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 drain implies a gradual withdrawal and ultimate deprivation of what is necessary to an existence. personal tragedy had drained him of all spirit exhaust stresses a complete emptying. her lecture exhausted the subject impoverish suggests a deprivation of something essential to richness or productiveness. impoverished soil bankrupt suggests impoverishment to the point of imminent collapse. war had bankrupted the nation of resources

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The de- prefix often means "do the opposite of", so deplete means the opposite of "fill". Thus, for example, a kitchen's food supplies can be rapidly depleted by hungry teenagers. But deplete often suggests something more serious. Desertions can deplete an army; layoffs can deplete an office staff; and too much time in bed can rapidly deplete your muscular strength.

Examples of deplete in a Sentence

Activities such as logging and mining deplete our natural resources. We completely depleted our life savings when we bought our new house.
Recent Examples on the Web So the storm will deplete it quickly and not undergo intensification, especially a rapid one. Robin Lloyd, Scientific American, 31 Aug. 2021 People worry that the water needed to put out a single brush fire could deplete their tanks. New York Times, 20 July 2021 Such demand growth could rapidly deplete OPEC’s currently robust spare capacity cushion, which is why Goldman Sachs GS does not see Iran as a threat to its prediction that Brent will hit $80 by the fourth quarter. Dan Eberhart, Forbes, 5 June 2021 But Harjeet Singh, a senior adviser at Climate Action Network International, told me this would deplete an already underfunded stream. New York Times, 23 June 2021 On farms and vineyards, a surge in well drilling and increased reliance on those wells has helped to deplete groundwater, leaving some with no choice but to truck in the precious resource. New York Times, 17 July 2021 Blood donations needed: The American Red Cross continues to experience a severe blood shortage as the number of trauma cases, organ transplants and elective surgeries rise – and deplete the nation’s blood inventory. Sam Boyer, cleveland, 30 July 2021 During the age of sail, contending powers commissioned privateers to deplete their enemies' coffers. Hal Brands Bloomberg Opinion, Star Tribune, 27 July 2021 Rosehip is our weapon against those free radicals that deplete and dull the skin. Laurie Brookins, Robb Report, 3 July 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deplete.' 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 deplete

1807, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for deplete

Latin depletus, past participle of deplēre, from de- + plēre to fill — more at full

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Time Traveler for deplete

Time Traveler

The first known use of deplete was in 1807

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Dictionary Entries Near deplete

deplenish

deplete

depletion ration

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Statistics for deplete

Last Updated

9 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Deplete.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deplete. Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for deplete

deplete

verb

English Language Learners Definition of deplete

: to use most or all of (something important) : to greatly reduce the amount of (something)

deplete

verb
de·​plete | \ di-ˈplēt How to pronounce deplete (audio) \
depleted; depleting

Kids Definition of deplete

: to reduce in amount by using up The soil was depleted of minerals.

deplete

transitive verb
de·​plete | \ di-ˈplēt How to pronounce deplete (audio) \
depleted; depleting

Medical Definition of deplete

: to empty (as the blood vessels) of a principal substance a body depleted by excessive blood loss tissues depleted of vitamins

More from Merriam-Webster on deplete

Nglish: Translation of deplete for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of deplete for Arabic Speakers

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