abase

verb
\ ə-ˈbās How to pronounce abase (audio) \
abased; abasing

Definition of abase

transitive verb

1 formal : to lower in rank, office, prestige, or esteem abase oneself … the shame that had abased him within and without …— James Joyce
2 archaic : to lower physically As we enter among them the great elephant makes us a bow in the best style of elephantine courtesy, bending lowly down his mountain bulk, with trunk abased and leg thrust out behind.— Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Other Words from abase

abasement \ ə-​ˈbās-​mənt How to pronounce abase (audio) \ noun

Examples of abase in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Unfortunately, an impulse to abase oneself isn’t resolved by a recognition that human life is a collaboration. Caleb Crain, The Atlantic, 10 Aug. 2021 One by one, internees abase themselves before 60 of their fellow prisoners, repenting of their errors in thinking and their nonprogressive religious practices. James E. Person Jr., National Review, 17 Sep. 2020 By the end of the weekend, the entire NBA was in damage-control mode, profusely and absurdly abasing themselves. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, 7 Oct. 2019 Only fearful, humiliated ex-Trumpers in need of campaign support, like Jeff Sessions, who is again running for the Senate in Alabama, abase themselves and speak of his virtue. David Remnick, The New Yorker, 19 Dec. 2019 Judging from Capitol Hill’s self-abasing deference to Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, the answer is no. William Mcgurn, WSJ, 24 July 2017 Consequently, the hero must be either venerated and elevated or cynically scorned and abased. Elliot Kaufman, National Review, 19 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abase.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of abase

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for abase

alteration (conformed to base entry 3) of Middle English abessen, abaisen, abaschen, borrowed from Anglo-French abesser, abaisser, from a-, prefix in transitive verbs (going back to Latin ad-) + -besser, going back to Vulgar Latin *bassiāre "to lower," derivative of Late Latin bassus "fat, short, low" — more at ad-, base entry 3

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Time Traveler for abase

Time Traveler

The first known use of abase was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near abase

à bas

abase

abase oneself

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Statistics for abase

Last Updated

21 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Abase.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abase. Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on abase

Nglish: Translation of abase for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of abase for Arabic Speakers

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