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deplete (verb) reduce (usually used in the passive).

A thing is depleted when it is a lot reduced, as it is being used up. The water in the tank has been depleted if there is only a little quantity left in it, the rest having been let out or used up. An army's ranks are depleted, if there are fewer soldiers than before, the rest having either been killed or having left it. Fuel stocks deplete, if a large quantity of it has been used up and only a little is left.

  • The world over, scientists and environmentalists are seriously worried that the ozone layer is being depleted, causing global warming.
  • Because of the large-scale pollution of oceans and seas, marine life and vegetation have been severely depleted, and as a result, the ecological balance is upset.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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