degradation

noun
deg·​ra·​da·​tion | \ ˌde-grə-ˈdā-shən \

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 \ 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

In some apps, the design can lead to performance degradation, which can now be fixed with Dynamic Local Mode. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "AMD's Dynamic Local Mode for Threadripper promises almost 50 percent more performance," 5 Oct. 2018 Various technologies have been demonstrated that have speed approaching that of current RAM chips but can hold on to the memory when the power shuts off—all without the long-term degradation that flash experiences. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Researchers make RAM from a phase change we don’t entirely understand," 18 Dec. 2018 Unlike genetic material, tooth enamel is generally impervious to degradation after death. Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "When Farmers and Foragers First Met," 24 Oct. 2018 Environmental degradation hurts the poor and vulnerable the most. Swati Gupta, CNN, "India's Modi calls for crackdown on plastic pollution on World Environment Day," 5 June 2018 Exposure to light, heat, and oxygen causes degradation. John Brodie, Town & Country, "Why Some Perfumers Are Betting That Fragrance Gets Better With Age," 30 Apr. 2018 Liberals criticize free-market capitalism as the cause of persistent inequality and environmental degradation. Bobby Jindal, WSJ, "Conservatism Isn’t Dead Yet," 25 Nov. 2018 The meaning behind the image is environmental degradation. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Forget the Mega Sales This Black Friday and Try Investing in “Savage Capitalism” Instead," 21 Nov. 2018 Leading up to the fight, KSI has also repeatedly used Logan’s girlfriend, Chloe Bennet, as a prop for degradation and insults. Megan Farokhmanesh, The Verge, "KSI vs. Logan Paul: how to watch ‘the biggest event in internet history’ live," 24 Aug. 2018

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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Last Updated

2 Jan 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

: 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 \

Medical Definition of degradation 

: change of a chemical compound to a less complex compound

Other Words from degradation

degradative \ ˈdeg-​rə-​ˌdāt-​iv \ 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

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