de·​bauch | \ di-ˈbȯch How to pronounce debauch (audio) , -ˈbäch, dē- \
debauched; debauching; debauches

Definition of debauch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to corrupt by intemperance or sensuality debauched poets a debauched society
b : to lead away from virtue or excellence debauched by ambition factory methods … debauched Victorian designCountry Life
2a : to seduce from chastity notorious for debauching young women
b archaic : to make disloyal



Definition of debauch (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act or occasion of extreme indulgence in sensuality or carnal pleasures : an act or occasion of debauchery
2 : orgy a debauch of pleasure

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Other Words from debauch


debaucher noun

Choose the Right Synonym for debauch


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

Examples of debauch in a Sentence

Verb the long stay on a tropical isle had debauched the ship's crew to the point where they no longer acted like naval professionals
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The medical community and laypersons alike often blamed victims of the disease for their own suffering, believing that vicious, debauched, and unhygienic lifestyles begat typhus. Timothy Kent Holliday, Smithsonian Magazine, "What an 1836 Typhus Outbreak Taught the Medical World About Epidemics," 21 Apr. 2020 His voice is chirpy-thin, making his stories of debauched after-hours excess sound like child’s play. New York Times, "Post Malone and Rae Sremmurd, Hip-Hop Impressionists Shaping the Stream," 9 May 2018 Given this is a bachelorette party, though, her activities are sure to be slightly more debauched — perhaps something fun with vaginal jade eggs? Amanda Arnold, The Cut, "Gwyneth Paltrow Is Reportedly Heading to Mexico For Her Bachelorette Party," 11 Apr. 2018 This is middle ages debauchery, when people really knew how to debauch. Kelly Kazek,, "Who knew there was such a thing as Renais-sex fairs?," 16 Mar. 2018 Prohibition failed because too few Americans agreed that all drinking was debauched. The Economist, "The year of Hurricane HarveyAccusations of harassment have felled some powerful men," 19 Dec. 2017 The ruling class became hoggishly self-indulgent: Mr Heffer lacerates Edward VII for his habit of sponging off his friends and debauching their wives. The Economist, "The decadent late-Victorian and Edwardian era," 7 Oct. 2017 If memory serves, Sixx’s proudly debauched autobiography was pretty graphic all by itself. George Varga,, "Mötley Crüe's Nikki Sixx to debut 'Heroin Diaries' graphic novel at Comic-Con," 19 July 2017 Lofing, who is married, faced a misdemeanor charge of debauching a minor and on Monday was sentenced to 90 days in jail. Alex Thomas, ajc, "Teacher gets 90 days in jail for sex with student on his 16th birthday," 19 July 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun After the fashion industry disgraced itself by banishing Melania Trump, this latest debauch comes as no surprise. Armond White, National Review, "Khaite FW21 — Sean Baker’s Fashion Week Faux Pas," 10 Mar. 2021 Take a break from taking a break with a long debauch at the Chateau Marmont? Washington Post, "Matthew McConaughey is all right, all right, all right — and thinks you will be too," 20 Oct. 2020 In stark contrast to Mr Sehic’s debauches, hundreds of starving Bosniaks, led by small numbers of armed men, raid surrounding Serb villages for food. The Economist, "Two Bosnian authors revisit the horror of the 1990s," 3 Oct. 2019 Pain and Glory Rated R for language, recreational drug use and remembrance of debauches past. Manohla Dargis, New York Times, "‘Pain and Glory’ Review: Almodóvar’s Dazzling Art of Self-Creation," 3 Oct. 2019 Hot Springs was a wild town in those days—a spa for rich northerners, a debauch of illegal gambling, fancy nightclubs, and the Oaklawn racetrack. Joe Klein, Daily Intelligencer, "Bill Clinton: Who Is This Guy?," 30 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'debauch.' 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 debauch


1595, in the meaning defined at sense 2b


1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for debauch

Verb and Noun

Middle French debaucher, from Old French desbauchier to scatter, disperse, from des- de- + bauch beam, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German balko beam — more at balk entry 2

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Time Traveler for debauch

Time Traveler

The first known use of debauch was in 1595

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Cite this Entry

“Debauch.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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