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[verb dee-pop-yuh-leyt; adjective dee-pop-yuh-lit, -leyt] /verb diˈpɒp yəˌleɪt; adjective diˈpɒp yə lɪt, -ˌleɪt/
verb (used with object), depopulated, depopulating.
to remove or reduce the population of, as by destruction or expulsion.
Archaic. depopulated.
Origin of depopulate
1525-35; < Latin dēpopulātus devastated (past participle of dēpopulārī), equivalent to dē- de- + populātus; see populate
Related forms
depopulation, noun
depopulative, adjective
depopulator, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for depopulate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "To get rid of them you'd have to depopulate the country," said Jason Jones.

  • While out riding he discovered the colony and at once resolved to depopulate it.

    In Beaver World

    Enos Abijah Mills
  • Poverty, death, and emigration then began to depopulate Paris.

    Economic Sophisms Frederic Bastiat
  • Leopold seems to be doing his best to depopulate the country.

    Samba Herbert Strang
  • It has converted the valley into a desert, and will depopulate it.


    Robert Montgomery Bird
  • All other measures will prove abortive, and you will depopulate the country.

    Egmont Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
  • The effect of this system was actually to depopulate many parishes.

  • The whites caught these words ringing clear and distinct: We will depopulate this whole country of whites.

    Dixie After the War

    Myrta Lockett Avary
British Dictionary definitions for depopulate


to be or cause to be reduced in population
Derived Forms
depopulation, noun
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 depopulate

1540s; see de- + populate. Perhaps from Latin depopulatus, past participle of depopulari "to lay waste, ravage." Related: Depopulated; depopulating. Earlier in same sense was dispeplen (early 15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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