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

  • transitive verb To lower in character, quality, or value; degrade.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To reduce in quality or state; impair the purity, worth, or credit of; vitiate; adulterate: as, to debase gold or silver by alloy.
  • To lower or impair morally; degrade.
  • Synonyms Debase, Degrade, etc. (see abase), lower, deteriorate, dishonor, alloy, taint, corrupt, defile. See list under degrade.

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

  • transitive verb To reduce from a higher to a lower state or grade of worth, dignity, purity, station, etc.; to degrade; to lower; to deteriorate; to abase

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To lower in character, quality, or value; to degrade.
  • verb transitive To lower the value of (a currency) by reducing the amount of valuable metal in the coins.

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

  • verb lower in value by increasing the base-metal content
  • verb corrupt morally or by intemperance or sensuality
  • verb corrupt, debase, or make impure by adding a foreign or inferior substance; often by replacing valuable ingredients with inferior ones


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

[de– + base.]


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  • But now I fain debase myself to all who rail at thee:

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night 2006

  • It should be called a debase rather than a debate.

    American Beat: The Non-Debate Debate 2008

  • The second reason to debase is to consume the debt. Home Page Steven Hansen 2009

  • Fixing the currency to a finite standard guarantees that it will be necessary to "debase" to accommodate a growing population, growing demand for money itself.

    How an Iranian 'Oil Bourse' Threatens the American Empire 2008

  • That doesn't mean that I'm trying to "debase" reading by aligning it with "the essentially passive experience of watching television," it just means that I want my time with a book to be well-spent.

    Archive 2007-01-01 Michael May 2007

  • _Delight_ is naturally formed by the participle _de_ and _light_, to make light, in the same way as "debase," to make base, "defile," to make foul.

    Notes and Queries, Number 38, July 20, 1850 Various

  • Y: And who turns away from the religion of Abraham but such as debase their souls with folly?

    Three Translations of The Koran (Al-Qur'an) side by side Abdullah Yusuf Ali 1902

  • Despite all the worries that quantitative easing will "debase" the greenback, it's still the currency of choice when risk appears.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed IAN McGUGAN 2010

  • But a Pentagon-supported service group, the Military Order of the Purple Heart, has strongly opposed expanding the definition to include psychological symptoms, saying it would "debase" the honor.

    Delaware Watch 2009

  • She said: "Nudity has always existed in art, and I think that, given the right conditions, it doesn't necessarily 'debase' any more than it celebrates or represents the human body" … … … ….

    The First Post: Latest 2008


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  • As the scorn of society grips every fiber of my confused existence. Me, an ego centric person made possible only through the comfort of a late Modern Industrialism, looks on helplessly at the debase direction that is driving man into the abyss and eventual collapse of society as I know it.

    May 17, 2009

  • Very nice, mediagrey :)

    May 17, 2009

  • Nice, Mediagrey, but I think you mean "the debased direction". "Debase" is a verb, not an adjective.

    May 17, 2009

  • The Bible tells us that a rejection of God can actually lead to a more hateful attitude toward Him: “Even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind . . . to become haters of God” (Rom. 1:28-30). ODB April 28, 2011.

    April 28, 2011

  • All debase are belong to incubus.

    April 28, 2011

  • Nice reference, bilby!

    April 28, 2011