verb (used with object), de·praved, de·prav·ing.

to make morally bad or evil; vitiate; corrupt.
Obsolete. to defame.

Origin of deprave

1325–75; Middle English depraven (< Anglo-French) < Latin dēprāvāre to pervert, corrupt, equivalent to dē- de- + prāv(us) crooked + -āre infinitive suffix
Related formsdep·ra·va·tion [dep-ruh-vey-shuh n] /ˌdɛp rəˈveɪ ʃən/, nounde·prav·er, nounde·prav·ing·ly, adverbnon·dep·ra·va·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for deprave

Historical Examples of deprave

  • Crowd bad men and women together, and they corrupt and deprave each other.

    Cast Adrift

    T. S. Arthur

  • They alter, they force, they deprave the meaning of three or four words, and all is done.

    What Is Free Trade?

    Frdrick Bastiat

  • Success and unquestioned dominion far more often deprave and distort than ennoble and purify the moral nature of man.

    Theodoric the Goth

    Thomas Hodgkin

  • It is painful to observe the almost inevitable tendency of power to deprave the soul.

    The Empire of Russia

    John S. C. Abbott

  • Power and riches were chiefly to be dreaded on account of their tendency to deprave the possessor.

    Wieland; or The Transformation

    Charles Brockden Brown

British Dictionary definitions for deprave


verb (tr)

to make morally bad; corrupt; vitiate
obsolete to defame; slander
Derived Formsdepravation (ˌdɛprəˈveɪʃən), noundepraver, noun

Word Origin for deprave

C14: from Latin dēprāvāre to distort, corrupt, from de- + prāvus crooked
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 deprave

late 14c., "corrupt, lead astray, pervert," from Old French depraver (14c.) or directly from Latin depravare "distort, disfigure;" figuratively "to pervert, seduce, corrupt," from de- "completely" (see de-) + pravus "crooked." Related: Depraved; depraving.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper