degradation

noun
deg·​ra·​da·​tion | \ ˌde-grə-ˈdā-shən How to pronounce degradation (audio) \

Definition of degradation

1 : the act or process of degrading environmental degradation the gradual degradation of organic matter … nothing infuriates the female students more than the degradation of women that is associated with male sports …— Scott Stossel suffer the degradations of poverty and abuse
2a : decline to a low, destitute, or demoralized state shocked by the hopeless degradation of the "poor whites"— Edith Wharton Some houses are found spotless, others in a wretched degradation— Paul Reyes
b : moral or intellectual decadence : degeneration educated him in the bestiality and degradation that war brings— Drew Middleton

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Other Words from degradation

degradative \ ˈde-​grə-​ˌdā-​tiv How to pronounce degradative (audio) \ adjective

Examples of degradation in a Sentence

English teachers bemoaning the degradation of the language that e-mail and instant messaging have allegedly brought about. the belief that moral degradation is an unmistakable sign of a nation in decline

Recent Examples on the Web

Thursday’s report from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change did more than lay out the sobering scope of desertification and land degradation and the implications for feeding the world. The Christian Science Monitor, "The path to meaningful employment," 13 Aug. 2019 Environmental changes, habitat degradation and international fishing pressure contributed to the fall in the eight stocks, NOAA said in a statement. Author: Patrick Whittle, Anchorage Daily News, "Environmental concerns push NOAA to add species to overfished list," 2 Aug. 2019 Environmental changes, habitat degradation and international fishing pressure contributed to the fall in the eight stocks, NOAA said in a statement. Washington Post, "Environment concerns add new species to US overfished list," 2 Aug. 2019 And the real hope of doing something may also lie there, as many of these areas have not yet faced ecosystem degradation and collapse at the scale that megacities have. National Geographic, "India’s water crisis could be helped by better building, planning," 15 July 2019 Brazil contains about 60 percent of the Amazon rainforest, whose degradation could have severe consequences for global climate and rainfall. NBC News, "As Amazon burns, Brazil's Bolsonaro tells rest of world not to interfere," 23 Aug. 2019 Brazil contains about 60 percent of the Amazon rainforest, whose degradation could have severe consequences for global climate and rainfall. courant.com, "Amazon fires stir bitter dispute over who is to blame," 22 Aug. 2019 Microplastics are the tiny pieces of plastic that result from the degradation of larger plastic items, such as bags or bottles, in the environment, as well as from the synthetic fibers that can slough off of clothing and other fabric items. Andrea Thompson, Scientific American, "Airborne Plastic Is Blowing All the Way to the Arctic," 14 Aug. 2019 Vegetation loss, fire damage, coastal degradation, soil erosion, water instability and lower crop yields are among the Industrial Revolution side effects already being felt from India to Iowa. Bill Weir, CNN, "Scientists say farmers could grow their way out of the climate crisis," 8 Aug. 2019

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

circa 1535, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for degradation

see degrade

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Statistics for degradation

Last Updated

11 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for degradation

The first known use of degradation was circa 1535

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More Definitions for degradation

degradation

noun

English Language Learners Definition of degradation

somewhat formal
: the act or process of damaging or ruining something
: the act of treating someone or something poorly and without respect

degradation

noun
deg·​ra·​da·​tion | \ ˌdeg-rə-ˈdā-shən How to pronounce degradation (audio) \

Medical Definition of degradation

: change of a chemical compound to a less complex compound

Other Words from degradation

degradative \ ˈdeg-​rə-​ˌdāt-​iv How to pronounce degradative (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on degradation

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with degradation

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for degradation

Spanish Central: Translation of degradation

Nglish: Translation of degradation for Spanish Speakers

Comments on degradation

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