[ im-pov-er-ish, -pov-rish ]
/ ɪmˈpɒv ər ɪʃ, -ˈpɒv rɪʃ /

verb (used with object)

to reduce to poverty: a country impoverished by war.
to make poor in quality, productiveness, etc.; exhaust the strength or richness of: Bad farming practices impoverished the soil.

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 forms

im·pov·er·ish·er, nounim·pov·er·ish·ment, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for impoverishment

British Dictionary definitions for impoverishment


/ (ɪmˈpɒvərɪʃ) /

verb (tr)

to make poor or diminish the quality ofto impoverish society by cutting the grant to the arts
to deprive (soil, etc) of fertility

Derived Forms

impoverisher, 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