verb (used with object), de·plet·ed, de·plet·ing.

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 formsde·plet·a·ble, adjectivede·ple·tion, nounde·ple·tive, de·ple·to·ry [dih-plee-tuh-ree] /dɪˈpli tə ri/, adjectivenon·de·plet·a·ble, adjectivenon·de·ple·tion, nounnon·de·ple·tive, adjectivenon·de·ple·to·ry, adjectivepre·de·plete, verb (used with object), pre·de·plet·ed, pre·de·plet·ing.pre·de·ple·tion, nounun·de·plet·ed, adjective

Synonyms for deplete Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for deplete

Contemporary Examples of deplete

Historical Examples of deplete

  • We deplete the colony for what is in reality only a handful of men, while it means much to us.

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

    The Life Radiant

    Lilian Whiting

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

  • Now to deplete is to check growth by abstracting the very source of nutriment.

    The Horse's Mouth

    Edward Mayhew

  • Even the German invasion at the beginning of the war failed to deplete this stock.

    The A.E.F.

    Heywood Broun

British Dictionary definitions for deplete


verb (tr)

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 Formsdepletable, adjectivedepletion, noundepletive or depletory, adjective

Word Origin for deplete

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

Word Origin and History for deplete

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

deplete in Medicine




To use up something, such as a nutrient.
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.