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From Biology-Online Dictionary
1. To make poor; to reduce to poverty or indigence; as, misfortune and disease impoverish families.
2. To exhaust the strength, richness, or fertility of; to make sterile; as, to impoverish land.
Origin: OF. Empovrir; pref. Em- (L. In) _ povre poor, f. Pauvre; cf. OF. Apovrir, f. Appauvrir, where the prefix is a-, L. Ad. Cf. Empoverish, and see poor, and -ish.