Definition of impoverish in English:

impoverish

Syllabification: im·pov·er·ish
Pronunciation: /imˈpäv(ə)riSH
 
/

verb

[with object]
  • 1Make (a person or area) poor: they discourage investment and impoverish their people (as adjective impoverished) impoverished peasant farmers
    More example sentences
    • The shirts will then be distributed to some of the most impoverished areas of the Macedonian capital.
    • The costs of treatment or even testing for the disease is seen as prohibitive in such impoverished areas.
    • Such companies, the argument goes, exploit poor workers abroad and impoverish workers at home by moving capital overseas.
    Synonyms
    make poor, make penniless, reduce to penury, bankrupt, beggar, ruin, bring to ruin, make insolvent
    rare pauperize
    poor, poverty-stricken, penniless, destitute, indigent, impecunious, needy, beggared, beggarly, pauperized, down-and-out, bankrupt, ruined, insolvent
    informal (flat) broke, hard up, dirt poor, on skid row
    formal penurious
  • 1.1Exhaust the strength, vitality, or natural fertility of: the soil was impoverished by annual burning (as adjective impoverished) • figurative an impoverished and debased language
    More example sentences
    • Prolonged military confrontation… will impoverish our resources and strength, while retarding our march to civilization by at least a hundred years.
    • They impoverish soil and destroy habitat, including wetlands.
    • All those obscenities and repeated slang phrases may be authentic but they tend to impoverish the language of his books.
    Synonyms
    weaken, sap, exhaust, deplete, enervate
    informal bleed
    weakened, exhausted, drained, sapped, depleted, spent; barren, unproductive, unfertile, unfruitful

Derivatives

impoverishment

noun
More example sentences
  • Once again, the primary victims of this impoverishment of education are disadvantaged children.
  • Family impoverishment and bankruptcy due to illness would be eliminated.
  • With all the impoverishment, hardship and discontent, one has to ask: where is the wealth?

Origin

late Middle English (formerly also as empoverish): from Old French empoveriss-, lengthened stem of empoverir, based on povre 'poor'.

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