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[dih-pleet] /dɪˈplit/
verb (used with object), depleted, depleting.
to decrease seriously or exhaust the abundance or supply of:
The fire had depleted the game in the forest. Extravagant spending soon depleted his funds.
Origin of deplete
1800-10; < Latin dēplētus empty (past participle of dēplēre to empty out), equivalent to dē- de- + plē(re) to fill + -tus past participle suffix
Related forms
depletable, adjective
depletion, noun
depletive, depletory
[dih-plee-tuh-ree] /dɪˈpli tə ri/ (Show IPA),
nondepletable, adjective
nondepletion, noun
nondepletive, adjective
nondepletory, adjective
predeplete, verb (used with object), predepleted, predepleting.
predepletion, noun
undepleted, adjective
use up, drain, reduce, consume, lessen. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for deplete
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The sooner they can deplete the national treasury, the sooner can they become masters of the situation.

  • We had to deplete our ship's company again by putting a prize-crew on board.

  • To do this habitually is to so deplete the forces of the spirit that one has nothing left.

    The Life Radiant Lilian Whiting
  • Now to deplete is to check growth by abstracting the very source of nutriment.

    The Horse's Mouth Edward Mayhew
  • When the refugees began pouring in she was among the first to ladle out soup and deplete her wardrobe.

    The Living Present Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton
  • Even the German invasion at the beginning of the war failed to deplete this stock.

    The A.E.F. Heywood Broun
  • Because to over-tire an immature faculty is to deplete its vital resources of development.

    Feminism and Sex-Extinction Arabella Kenealy
  • After the harvest was ended the father began to deplete his farm.

    The White Peacock D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
British Dictionary definitions for deplete


verb (transitive)
to use up (supplies, money, energy, etc); reduce or exhaust
to empty entirely or partially
(med) to empty or reduce the fluid contents of (an organ or vessel)
Derived Forms
depletable, adjective
depletion, noun
depletive, depletory, adjective
Word Origin
C19: from Latin dēplēre to empty out, from de- + plēre to fill
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for deplete

1807, back-formation from depletion. Related: Depleted; depleting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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deplete in Medicine

deplete de·plete (dĭ-plēt')
v. de·plet·ed, de·plet·ing, de·pletes

  1. To use up something, such as a nutrient.

  2. To empty something out, as the body of electrolytes.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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