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de- +‎ populate or Latin dēpopulō



depopulate (third-person singular simple present depopulates, present participle depopulating, simple past and past participle depopulated)

  1. (transitive) To reduce the population of a region by disease, war, forced relocation etc.
    • c. 1607, William Shakespeare, Coriolanus, Act III, Scene 1,[1]
      Where is this viper
      That would depopulate the city and
      Be every man himself?
    • 1716, Alexander Pope (translator), The Iliad: of Homer, London: Bernard Lintott, Book 5, p. 48, lines 681-685,[2]
      So two young Mountain Lions, nurs’d with Blood
      In deep Recesses of the gloomy Wood,
      Rush fearless to the Plains, and uncontroul’d
      Depopulate the Stalls and waste the Fold;
    • 2005, Tony Judt, Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945, New York: Penguin, Chapter 17, p. 548,
      The agricultural modernization of the 1950s and 1960s, the migration of the sons and daughters of peasants to the cities, had been steadily depleting and depopulating the French countryside.
  2. (transitive, electronics) To remove the components from a circuit board.
  3. (intransitive) To become depopulated, to lose its population.
    • 1849, William Henry Bartlett, The Nile Boat; or, Glimpses of the Land of Egypt, London: Arthur Hall, Virtue & Co., Chapter 1, p. 29,[3]
      [] the country [] has been rapidly depopulating, and utterly draining of its vital resources, till the unhappy population have sunk to the lowest depth of misery.
    • 1917, Robert Louis Stevenson, Poems of François Villon, Boston: John W. Luce, Critical Biography, p. 1,[4]
      [] on the 2d of December our Henry Sixth made his Joyous Entry dismally enough into disaffected and depopulating Paris.
    • 1994, Kenneth Coward: The Welfare: A Concise Archival History of Social Services, Owen Sound, Ontario, Appendix III, p. 56,[5]
      Rural Canada was depopulating and immigrants were needed.
    • 2008, Gary Presley, Seven Wheelchairs: A Life beyond Polio, Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, Chapter 15, p. 80,[6]
      Visitors dwindled over time. [] My world shrank as it depopulated. It became my room, the front room, and the kitchen.


See also[edit]


depopulate (not comparable)

  1. (obsolete) Depopulated.
    • 1548, Edward Hall, The Union of the Two Noble and Illustre Families of Lancastre and Yorke, London: Richard Grafton, The firste yere of The vnquiete tyme of Kyng Henry the fourthe, p. xix[7]
      A world it was to see [] his daily peregrinacion in the desert, felles and craggy mountains of that bareine vnfertile and depopulate countrey.
    • c. 1611,, George Chapman (translator), The Iliads of Homer Prince of Poets, London: Nathaniell Butter, Book Two, p. 30,[8]
      Wroth for bright-cheekt Bryseis losse; whom from Lyrnessus spoiles,
      (His owne exploit) he brought away, as trophee of his toiles,
      When that town was depopulate;




  1. second-person plural present active imperative of dēpopulō