Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To lower in rank, prestige, or esteem. synonym: debase.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To lower or depress, as a thing; bring down.
  • To reduce or lower, as in rank, estimation, office, and the like; depress; humble; degrade.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb Archaic To lower or depress; to throw or cast down.
  • transitive verb To cast down or reduce low or lower, as in rank, office, condition in life, or estimation of worthiness; to depress; to humble; to degrade.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb cause to feel shame; hurt the pride of

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English abassen, from Old French abaissier : Latin ad-, ad- + Vulgar Latin *bassiāre (from Medieval Latin bassus, low).]

Examples

  • Next week, the odds are that she will have to abase herself before the conservative and relatively euro-skeptic wing of her own party if, as seems likely, the Christian Democrats lose control of the conservative citadel of Baden-Württemberg.

    Euro Zone Letting Slip a Grand Chance

  • Lewis has now been forced to abase himself in front of the world's media, and apologise for lying.

    Archive 2009-04-01

  • Where the people are Catholic and submissive to the law of God, as declared and applied by the vicar of Christ and supreme pastor of the church, democracy may be a good form of government; but combined with Protestantism or infidelity in the people, its inevitable tendency is to lower the standard of morality, to enfeeble intellect, to abase character, and to retard civilization, as even our short American experience amply proves.

    GOP Confronts Its Future Viability

  • In return for their financial support I will promise never, ever to take tea with the Dalai Lama, to stop complaining about their currency manipulation, and to abase myself in any other way they deem appropriate.

    Europe's Not-So-Cunning Rescue Plan

  • The human spirit is fashioned in the likeness of the Creator: it is improper to abase that spirit to some other component of the Creation.

    The Ritual: After Death, Before Venison

  • Where the people are Catholic and submissive to the law of God, as declared and applied by the vicar of Christ and supreme pastor of the church, democracy may be a good form of government; but combined with Protestantism or infidelity in the people, its inevitable tendency is to lower the standard of morality, to enfeeble intellect, to abase character, and to retard civilization, as even our short American experience amply proves.

    Found While Looking for Something Else

  • Coleridge was evidently one of those people who abase themselves excessively in the hope of never having to hear their faults expressed on the lips of others.

    Wordsworth & Coleridge II « Tales from the Reading Room

  • Coleridge was evidently one of those people who abase themselves excessively in the hope of never having to hear their faults expressed on the lips of others.

    2010 May « Tales from the Reading Room

  • What would possess anyone to take such blessings and abase them with dollar signs?

    Money drives NCAA to expand and ruin a perfect tournament

  • The human spirit is fashioned in the likeness of the Creator: it is improper to abase that spirit to some other component of the Creation.

    The Ritual: After Death, Before Venison

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