[im-pov-er-ish, -pov-rish]
verb (used with object)
to reduce to poverty: a country impoverished by war.
to make poor in quality, productiveness, etc.; exhaust the strength or richness of: Bad farming practices impoverished the soil.

1400–50; late Middle English empoverishen < Middle French empovriss- (long stem of empovrir), equivalent to em- em-1 + povre poor + -iss -ish2

impoverisher, noun
impoverishment, noun

2. deplete, drain; weaken, enervate, fatigue, cripple.

1, 2. enrich. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To impoverish
World English Dictionary
impoverish (ɪmˈpɒvərɪʃ)
1.  to make poor or diminish the quality of: to impoverish society by cutting the grant to the arts
2.  to deprive (soil, etc) of fertility
[C15: from Old French empovrir, from povrepoor]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Example sentences
If they had a goal, it was selfish-an attempt to impoverish the emerging world
  through protectionism.
Conflict may impoverish populations, increase the availability of weapons and
  debilitate rulers.
While a tax on gasoline will impoverish people, it won't reduce consumption of
  gasoline much at all.
It has never been dairy farmers' intent to impoverish processors.
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