[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.
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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
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Example sentences
In age, he shows no impoverishment of spirit or weakening of intention.
But the writer remains dispirited by the impoverishment that comes with this
  closing of the mind to novelty.
But the symptoms of collective impoverishment are all about us.
Yet the fading of agriculture did not bring impoverishment to these countries.
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