[ verb dee-pop-yuh-leyt; adjective dee-pop-yuh-lit, -leyt ]
/ verb diˈpɒp yəˌleɪt; adjective diˈpɒp yə lɪt, -ˌleɪt /

verb (used with object), de·pop·u·lat·ed, de·pop·u·lat·ing.

to remove or reduce the population of, as by destruction or expulsion.


Archaic. depopulated.

Nearby words

  1. depollute,
  2. depolymerase,
  3. depolymerize,
  4. depone,
  5. deponent,
  6. depopulation,
  7. deport,
  8. deportation,
  9. deportee,
  10. deportment

Origin of depopulate

1525–35; < Latin dēpopulātus devastated (past participle of dēpopulārī), equivalent to dē- de- + populātus; see populate

Related formsde·pop·u·la·tion, nounde·pop·u·la·tive, adjectivede·pop·u·la·tor, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for depopulate

British Dictionary definitions for depopulate


/ (dɪˈpɒpjʊˌleɪt) /


to be or cause to be reduced in population
Derived Formsdepopulation, 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

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