Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To reduce to poverty; make poor.
  • transitive v. To deprive of natural richness or strength: impoverish the soil by overuse. See Synonyms at deplete.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. Make poor.
  • v. Weaken in quality; deprive of some strength or richness.
  • v. Become poor.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To make poor; to reduce to poverty or indigence.
  • transitive v. To exhaust the strength, richness, or fertility of; to make sterile.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make poor; reduce to poverty or indigence.
  • To make poor in quality or character; reduce in vigor, capacity, productiveness, etc.; cause to deteriorate.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. take away
  • v. make poor

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English empoverishen, from Old French empovrir, empovriss- : en-, causative pref.; see en-1 + povre, poor (from Latin pauper; see pauper).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French empoverir (modern French appauvrir), from em- + povre, from Latin pauper ("poor") (English poor).

Examples

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