Definition of impoverish in English:

impoverish

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Make (a person or area) poor.

    ‘the wars had impoverished him’
    ‘impoverished villages’
    • ‘She was from a remote and impoverished African village, I had flown in from the other side of the world.’
    • ‘The residents are mostly impoverished families who survive by collecting recyclable garbage.’
    • ‘Families in these impoverished regions are barely able to survive even when they are left alone.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘However, due to the burgeoning housing developments outside the Bay Area, another flood may kill or impoverish thousands.’
    • ‘Only eight of the world's most impoverished countries have seen a significant cut in their payments to Western creditors.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, small impoverished regions cannot remain both isolated and liberated for long.’
    • ‘Environmentalists claim trade harms the environment and further impoverishes people in the developing world.’
    • ‘Concurrently, unemployment rates rocketed in these extremely impoverished areas and health care was almost nonexistent.’
    • ‘He admitted that some impoverished farmers sell the crop to third parties who make cocaine for export to Western countries.’
    • ‘A ban on timber exports would cost the exporters their clients and impoverish many hard-working people trying to make an honest living in an already harsh economic environment.’
    • ‘And over 12 years he mocked the UN, while he tyrannised and impoverished his own people.’
    • ‘Sanctions imposed back then are still in place, more than ever raising questions about the wisdom and the morality of impoverishing an entire people in an effort to punish its leaders.’
    • ‘Many children have grown up economically impoverished and thrived as adults.’
    • ‘A free market in milk quota, as indicated by the outcome in Northern Ireland, was a recipe for impoverishing farmers rather than enhancing their incomes, the Minister was told.’
    • ‘The half island with a population of just 800,000 people is one of the most impoverished countries in the world.’
    • ‘Such companies, the argument goes, exploit poor workers abroad and impoverish workers at home by moving capital overseas.’
    • ‘Once an economically impoverished people are educated, they can better understand the reasons for their poverty.’
    • ‘We think it is wrong that so many people are impoverished by local taxes.’
    poor, poverty-stricken, penniless, penurious, destitute, indigent, impecunious, needy, pauperized, in distressed circumstances, in reduced circumstances, in straitened circumstances, in want, in need, down and out, on the breadline
    make poor, make penniless, reduce to penury, reduce to destitution, bring to ruin, bring someone to their knees, bankrupt, ruin, make insolvent
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Exhaust the strength or vitality of.
      ‘the soil was impoverished by annual burning’
      ‘an impoverished and debased language’
      • ‘Reducing it to an expletive degrades the word, erases the idea, impoverishes language and makes us ever so slightly more stupid than we were before.’
      • ‘It not only impoverishes our language, it gives young people - especially very young children - the notion that it is acceptable.’
      • ‘British society, never more affluent, seemed spiritually impoverished and socially divided.’
      • ‘Our private hopes are encouraged, while our public hopes are impoverished.’
      • ‘And the absence of the annual leaf fall - organic matter that helps hold moisture - impoverishes what soil is left.’
      • ‘The promotion of the idea that private is better than public not only impoverishes our common dreams - it is also clearly untrue.’
      • ‘This would also, I fear, gravely impoverish our language.’
      • ‘America's entertainment culture was becoming increasingly impoverished: Redford saw independent film as its best hope.’
      • ‘They impoverish soil and destroy habitat, including wetlands.’
      • ‘‘This death impoverishes us all,’ our short-lived leader said.’
      • ‘While the two-party system meets the known and stated political demands of many - probably most - Americans, it impoverishes our political discourse.’
      • ‘Canada was prospering in a material sense; spiritually it was becoming increasingly impoverished.’
      • ‘In this party we believe one child in poverty impoverishes us all.’
      • ‘Religious believers sometimes accuse us of having a superficial and impoverished view of the world.’
      • ‘Australian soils as with many trace elements have been quite impoverished but most of that has been corrected.’
      • ‘All those obscenities and repeated slang phrases may be authentic but they tend to impoverish the language of his books.’
      • ‘Prolonged military confrontation… will impoverish our resources and strength, while retarding our march to civilization by at least a hundred years.’
      • ‘It lessens the map, loses chances for reflection and meta-level thought and language and impoverishes the imagination of all.’
      • ‘This is a crushing cultural loss which impoverishes us all.’
      • ‘The sense among conservationists, he said, is that current rates of burning ‘are too frequent and impoverishing ecosystems.’’
      weakened, exhausted, drained, sapped, diminished, depleted, enervated, sucked dry, used up, spent, played out
      weaken, sap, exhaust, drain, empty, diminish, deplete, enervate, suck dry
      View synonyms

Origin

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

Pronunciation

impoverish

/ɪmˈpɒv(ə)rɪʃ/