[verb dee-pop-yuh-leyt; adjective dee-pop-yuh-lit, -leyt]
See more synonyms for depopulate on
verb (used with object), de·pop·u·lat·ed, de·pop·u·lat·ing.
  1. to remove or reduce the population of, as by destruction or expulsion.
  1. Archaic. depopulated.

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. 2018

Examples from the Web for depopulate

Contemporary Examples of depopulate

Historical Examples of depopulate

  • "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.


    Herbert Strang

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


    Robert Montgomery Bird

British Dictionary definitions for depopulate


  1. 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