Definition of debase
1 : to lower in status, esteem, quality, or character debased himself by lying to his supporters … a constitutional amendment that would allow Congress to outlaw debasing the American flag. — Time This is not to say that you should be prepared to debase camping standards. — The Scout Leader's Handbook
2a : to reduce the intrinsic value of (a coin) by increasing the base-metal contentb : to reduce the exchange value of (a monetary unit)
debasementplay \-ˈbās-mənt\ noun
debaserplay \-ˈbā-sər\ noun
Examples of debase in a sentence
The governor debased himself by lying to the public.
The holiday has been debased by commercialism.
Did You Know?
Debase is often used to talk about someone's lowered status or character. People are constantly blustering about the debased tastes of the ordinary American, and especially the debased music of America's youth. A commentator might observe that both candidates had managed to debase themselves by the end of a political campaign. Debase has a special meaning in economics: From time to time, governments find that they need to quietly debase their countries' currency by reducing the percentage of valuable metal in its coins; if they don't, the metal may become more valuable than the coin and people will begin melting the coins down and reselling the metal.
First Known Use of debase
Synonym Discussion of debase
DEBASE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of debase for English Language Learners
: to lower the value or reputation of (someone or something) : to make (someone or something) less respected
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up debase? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).