deplete


deplete
deplete vb Deplete, drain, exhaust, impoverish, bankrupt are comparable when they mean to deprive a thing in whole or in part of what is essential or necessary to its existence or potency.
Deplete is often used as though it implied merely a reduction in numbers, in quantity, or in mass or volume; it may be used specifically to suggest the potential harm of such a reduction or the impossibility of restoring what has been lost before such consequences are evident; thus, bloodletting depletes the system, not only by reducing the quantity of blood but by depriving the system of elements essential to its vitality and vigor; an epidemic depletes an army when it reduces the army not only in size but in effective strength, especially at a time when that strength is needed
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he would have us fill up our depleted curriculum with subjects whose worth has not even been tried— Grandgent

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cattle herds depleted by the heavy slaughter last year— Time

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Drain when precisely employed retains its basic implications of slow withdrawal of liquid (as by straining, seepage, or suction) until the substance which is drained becomes dry or the container which holds the liquid is emptied; hence it connotes a gradual depletion and ultimate deprivation of the figurative lifeblood of a thing or the essential element of its existence or well-being
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the Thirty Years' War nearly drained Germany of men and materials

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their country's wealth our mightier misers drainPope

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a burden of arms draining the wealth and labor of all peoples— Eisenhower

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Exhaust (see also TIRE) is very close to drain, but it stresses emptying or evacuation rather than gradual depletion. Unlike drain, which usually implies loss without compensating gain, exhaust need not suggest ultimate loss of what is removed; thus, a mine is exhausted when all its ore has been removed for refining; a soil is exhausted, or drained of nutrients, by growing crops on it without adequate fertilizing; but, a person is drained of vitality when overwork or illness reduces him to a weak or ineffective state
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exhaust a subject by treating it so fully that nothing more can be said about it

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molasses is exhausted when no further sugar can be extracted from it

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the theme of mother and child has proved a theme which no age has ever exhausted or ever will exhaustBinyon

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evidently the old ideas had been exhausted and the time was ripe for new ideologies— R. W. Murray

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seven hundred years of glorious and incessant creation seem to have exhausted the constructive genius of Europe— Clive Bell

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Impoverish implies a depletion or a draining of something as essential to a thing as money or its equivalent is to a human being; it stresses the deprivation of qualities essential to a thing's strength, richness, or productiveness
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impoverish the body by too meager a diet

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a brilliant sun scorched the impoverished trees and sucked energy from the frail breezes— Farrell

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Bankrupt stresses such impoverishment of a thing that it is destitute of qualities essential to its continued existence or productiveness; it connotes a complete or imminent collapse or breaking down
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argued that science by inattention to immaterial phenomena is bankrupting itself

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dainty bits make rich the ribs, but bankrupt quite the wits— Shak.

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Analogous words: undermine, sap, debilitate, *weaken, enfeeble, cripple, disable: reduce, diminish, *decrease, lessen
Contrasted words: augment, *increase, enlarge

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • deplete — I verb beggar, bleed, consume, decrease, dissipate, drain, drain of resources, dry up, eliminate, empty, empty out, evacuate, exhaust, expend, finish, impoverish, lessen, lose, pauperize, purge, reduce, render insufficient, run down, spend,… …   Law dictionary

  • deplete — de‧plete [dɪˈpliːt] verb [transitive] to greatly reduce the amount of something, using up nearly all of it: • Drastic measures will need to be taken if fish stocks in Europe s seas are not to be disastrously depleted. depleted adjective [only… …   Financial and business terms

  • Deplete — De*plete , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Depleted}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Depleting}.] [From L. deplere to empty out; de + plere to fill. Forined like replete, complete. See {Fill}, {Full}, a.] 1. (Med.) To empty or unload, as the vessels of human system, by… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • deplete — 1807, back formation from DEPLETION (Cf. depletion). Related: Depleted; depleting …   Etymology dictionary

  • deplete — [v] consume, exhaust supply bankrupt, bleed*, decrease, dig into, diminish, drain, draw, dry up, empty, evacuate, expend, finish, impoverish, lessen, milk*, reduce, sap, spend, squander, suck dry*, undermine, use up, wash up, waste, weaken;… …   New thesaurus

  • deplete — ► VERB 1) reduce the number or quantity of. 2) use up (energy, stocks, etc.); exhaust. DERIVATIVES depletion noun. ORIGIN Latin deplere empty out …   English terms dictionary

  • deplete — [dē plēt′, diplēt′] vt. depleted, depleting [< L depletus, pp. of deplere, to empty < de , from + plere, to fill: see FULL1] 1. a) to make less by gradually using up (resources, funds, strength, etc.) b) to use up gradually the resources,… …   English World dictionary

  • deplete — transitive verb (depleted; depleting) Etymology: Latin depletus, past participle of deplēre, from de + plēre to fill more at full Date: 1807 1. to empty of a principal substance 2. to lessen markedly in quantity …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • deplete — [[t]dɪpli͟ːt[/t]] depletes, depleting, depleted VERB To deplete a stock or amount of something means to reduce it. [FORMAL] [V n] ...substances that deplete the ozone layer... [V n] They fired in long bursts, which depleted their ammunition... [V …   English dictionary

  • deplete — UK [dɪˈpliːt] / US [dɪˈplɪt] verb [transitive] Word forms deplete : present tense I/you/we/they deplete he/she/it depletes present participle depleting past tense depleted past participle depleted to reduce the amount of something or the number… …   English dictionary


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