- to make poor; reduce to poverty
- to deprive of strength, resources, etc.
Origin of impoverishMiddle English empoverishen from extended stem of Old French empovrir from em- ( from Classical Latin in-, in) + povre from Classical Latin pauper, poor
transitive verbim·pov·er·ished, im·pov·er·ish·ing, im·pov·er·ish·es
- To reduce to poverty; make poor.
- To deprive of richness or strength: impoverish the soil by overuse.
Origin of impoverishMiddle English empoverishen from Old French empovrir empovriss- en- causative pref. ; see en- 1. povre poor ( from Latin pauper ; see pauper . )
(third-person singular simple present impoverishes, present participle impoverishing, simple past and past participle impoverished)