[verb dee-pop-yuh-leyt; adjective dee-pop-yuh-lit, -leyt]

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.

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 depopulation

Contemporary Examples of depopulation

  • These earlier refugees resulted from, among other sources, the depopulation of the largest Palestinian cities of Yaffa and Haifa.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Blaming the Victim

    Yousef Munayyer

    June 1, 2012

Historical Examples of depopulation

British Dictionary definitions for depopulation



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 depopulation

early 15c.; see de- + population.



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