verb de·base \di-ˈbās, dē-\

: to lower the value or reputation of (someone or something) : to make (someone or something) less respected

Full Definition of DEBASE

transitive verb
:  to lower in status, esteem, quality, or character
a :  to reduce the intrinsic value of (a coin) by increasing the base-metal content
b :  to reduce the exchange value of (a monetary unit)
de·base·ment \-ˈbās-mənt\ noun
de·bas·er \-ˈbā-sər\ noun

Examples of DEBASE

  1. The governor debased himself by lying to the public.
  2. The holiday has been debased by commercialism.

First Known Use of DEBASE


Synonym Discussion of DEBASE

debase, vitiate, deprave, corrupt, debauch, pervert mean to cause deterioration or lowering in quality or character. debase implies a loss of position, worth, value, or dignity <commercialism has debased the holiday>. vitiate implies a destruction of purity, validity, or effectiveness by allowing entrance of a fault or defect <a foreign policy vitiated by partisanship>. deprave implies moral deterioration by evil thoughts or influences <the claim that society is depraved by pornography>. corrupt implies loss of soundness, purity, or integrity <the belief that bureaucratese corrupts the language>. debauch implies a debasing through sensual indulgence <the long stay on a tropical isle had debauched the ship's crew>. pervert implies a twisting or distorting from what is natural or normal <perverted the original goals of the institute>.


Next Word in the Dictionary: debasednessPrevious Word in the Dictionary: debarrassAll Words Near: debase
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