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2017 Word of the Year

impoverished

[im-pov-er-isht, -pov-risht] /ɪmˈpɒv ər ɪʃt, -ˈpɒv rɪʃt/
adjective
1.
reduced to poverty.
2.
(of a country, area, etc.) having few trees, flowers, birds, wild animals, etc.
3.
deprived of strength, vitality, creativeness, etc.:
an impoverished attempt at humor.
Origin of impoverished
1625-1635
First recorded in 1625-35; impoverish + -ed2
Related forms
unimpoverished, adjective
Synonyms
1. See poor.

impoverish

[im-pov-er-ish, -pov-rish] /ɪmˈpɒv ər ɪʃ, -ˈpɒv rɪʃ/
verb (used with object)
1.
to reduce to poverty:
a country impoverished by war.
2.
to make poor in quality, productiveness, etc.; exhaust the strength or richness of:
Bad farming practices impoverished the soil.
Origin
1400-50; late Middle English empoverishen < Middle French empovriss- (long stem of empovrir), equivalent to em- em-1 + povre poor + -iss -ish2
Related forms
impoverisher, noun
impoverishment, noun
Synonyms
2. deplete, drain; weaken, enervate, fatigue, cripple.
Antonyms
1, 2. enrich.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for impoverished
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The farmers were impoverished, and the poorer people made beggars.

    The Scapegoat Hall Caine
  • The king was so impoverished that he had not money sufficient to pay the debt.

    Henry IV, Makers of History John S. C. Abbott
  • What you say about the children shows how impoverished is the blood.

    The Man Who Wins Robert Herrick
  • It was not he who enticed them; it was not he who impoverished them.

    Peak and Prairie Anna Fuller
  • A people is impoverished by importations and enriched by exportations.

British Dictionary definitions for impoverished

impoverish

/ɪmˈpɒvərɪʃ/
verb (transitive)
1.
to make poor or diminish the quality of: to impoverish society by cutting the grant to the arts
2.
to deprive (soil, etc) of fertility
Derived Forms
impoverisher, noun
impoverishment, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French empovrir, from povrepoor
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 impoverished

impoverish

v.

early 15c., empoverischen, from Old French empoveriss-, stem of empoverir, from em- + povre "poor" (see poor). Related: Impoverished; impoverishing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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