• synonyms


[im-pov-er-ish, -pov-rish]
See more synonyms for impoverish on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to reduce to poverty: a country impoverished by war.
  2. to make poor in quality, productiveness, etc.; exhaust the strength or richness of: Bad farming practices impoverished the soil.
Show More

Origin of impoverish

1400–50; late Middle English empoverishen < Middle French empovriss- (long stem of empovrir), equivalent to em- em-1 + povre poor + -iss -ish2
Related formsim·pov·er·ish·er, nounim·pov·er·ish·ment, noun

Synonyms for impoverish

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com

Antonyms for impoverish

1, 2. enrich.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for impoverishment

hardship, insolvency, privation, famine, depletion, scarcity, starvation, distress, lack, dearth, vacancy, deficiency, want, pass, need, emptiness, bankruptcy, inadequacy, indigence, reduction

Examples from the Web for impoverishment

Contemporary Examples of impoverishment

Historical Examples of impoverishment

British Dictionary definitions for impoverishment


verb (tr)
  1. to make poor or diminish the quality ofto impoverish society by cutting the grant to the arts
  2. to deprive (soil, etc) of fertility
Show More
Derived Formsimpoverisher, nounimpoverishment, noun

Word Origin for impoverish

C15: from Old French empovrir, from povre poor
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 impoverishment


1550s; see impoverish + -ment.

Show More



early 15c., empoverischen, from Old French empoveriss-, stem of empoverir, from em- + povre "poor" (see poor). Related: Impoverished; impoverishing.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper