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[dih-preyv] /dɪˈpreɪv/
verb (used with object), depraved, depraving.
to make morally bad or evil; vitiate; corrupt.
Obsolete. to defame.
Origin of deprave
1325-75; Middle English depraven (< Anglo-French) < Latin dēprāvāre to pervert, corrupt, equivalent to dē- de- + prāv(us) crooked + -āre infinitive suffix
Related forms
[dep-ruh-vey-shuh n] /ˌdɛp rəˈveɪ ʃən/ (Show IPA),
depraver, noun
depravingly, adverb
nondepravation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for deprave
Historical Examples
  • It is painful to observe the almost inevitable tendency of power to deprave the soul.

    The Empire of Russia John S. C. Abbott
  • Success and unquestioned dominion far more often deprave and distort than ennoble and purify the moral nature of man.

    Theodoric the Goth Thomas Hodgkin
  • But let nobody conclude therefore that Mr Redford is a monster, whose policy it is to deprave the theatre.

    Mrs. Warren's Profession George Bernard Shaw
  • Power and riches were chiefly to be dreaded on account of their tendency to deprave the possessor.

    Wieland; or The Transformation Charles Brockden Brown
  • It was not in the power of adulation to turn such a head, or deprave such a heart, as Addison's.

  • Otherwise, the mere growth of wealth, be it ever so widely diffused, will deprave the world instead of elevating it.

    Crime and Its Causes William Douglas Morrison
  • No possible amount of good to ever so many can make it right to deprave ever so few;—happiness and misery cannot be measured so!

  • No possible amount of good to ever so many can make it right to deprave ever so few; happiness and misery cannot be measured so!

    The Minister's Wooing Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • They would corrupt the morals, debase the manners, and deprave the tastes of the young.

  • Such engagements are always dangerous; sometimes they deprave the character of the man or woman.'

    New Grub Street George Gissing
British Dictionary definitions for deprave


verb (transitive)
to make morally bad; corrupt; vitiate
(obsolete) to defame; slander
Derived Forms
depravation (ˌdɛprəˈveɪʃən) noun
depraver, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin dēprāvāre to distort, corrupt, from de- + prāvus crooked
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 deprave

late 14c., "corrupt, lead astray, pervert," from Old French depraver (14c.) or directly from Latin depravare "distort, disfigure;" figuratively "to pervert, seduce, corrupt," from de- "completely" (see de-) + pravus "crooked." Related: Depraved; depraving.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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