Definition of degrade
1a : to lower in grade, rank, or status : demoteb : to strip of rank or honorsc : to lower to an inferior or less effective level degrade the image qualityd : to scale down in desirability or salability
2a : to bring to low esteem or into disrepute his actions have degraded his profession punishments intended to humiliate and degrade prisonersb : to drag down in moral or intellectual character : corrupt the Indians who consume peyote buttons do not seem to be … morally degraded by the habit — Aldous Huxley
3 : to impair in respect to some physical property material degraded by exposure to sunlight
4 geology : to wear down by erosion degraded the hillside
5 chemistry : to reduce the complexity of (a chemical compound) : decompose
1 : to pass from a higher grade or class to a lower causes the meat to degrade in quality
2 of a chemical compound : to become reduced in complexity plastics that don't easily degrade
degradinglyplay \-ˈgrā-diŋ-lē\ adverb
Examples of degrade in a Sentence
The group accuses the company of degrading women in its ads.
He felt degraded by their remarks.
Scratches on a camera lens will degrade the image.
Pollution has degraded air quality.
Recent Examples of degrade from the Web
And video gets degraded to DVD-level quality unless customers pay an extra $15 a month for high-definition video and some other upgrades.
Over longer time periods, LEDs can degrade milk flavor as well, though not as much.
His racist, sexist, xenophobic, bigoted ideologies have inspired actual violence and hate crimes to degrade the Latinx community.
But in the case of the Islamic State, officials say a decision was made that a bit of boasting might degrade the enemy’s trust in its communications, jumbling and even deterring some actions.
And the catalogue provides a fuller picture of how spoliation itself was an integral, early part of the Nazi effort to degrade, dehumanize, and expel the Jews, setting the stage, ultimately, for mass murder.
That's an incredible tool for a brewery to have in their arsenal, especially considering hops freshness in beer typically degrades in under 90 days, sometimes even quicker for these wet hop offerings.
Waiting another 45 days won't degrade the situation further, but may allow an opportunity for some net positive to emerge.
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Did You Know?
In Shakespeare's King Lear, the old king is degraded by the daughters he has given his kingdom to. He finds it degrading, for instance, when the number of his guards is reduced from 100 to 25. His degradation seems complete when, after going mad, he's reduced to living in the wilderness. As you can see, degrade is often a synonym for humiliate.
Origin and Etymology of degrade
Middle English, from Anglo-French degrader, from Late Latin degradare, from Latin de- + gradus step, grade — more at grade
First Known Use: 14th century
DEGRADE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of degrade for English Language Learners
: to treat (someone or something) poorly and without respect
: to make the quality of (something) worse
: to cause (something complex) to break down into simple substances or parts
DEGRADE Defined for Kids
Definition of degrade for Students
1 : to lower in character or dignity Mom feels that dressing animals in costumes degrades them.
2 : to break down or separate into simpler parts or substances Bacteria will degrade the spilled pollutant.
3 : to reduce from a higher to a lower rank or degree He was degraded to a private by his commander.
Word Root of degrade
The Latin word gradus, meaning “step” or “degree,” gives us the root grad. Words from the Latin gradus have something to do with steps. Anything gradual happens slowly one step at a time. To degrade is to reduce from a higher to a lower degree. A grade is a step in school made up of one year of work. Even the word degree itself has gradus as its root.
Medical Definition of degrade
Seen and Heard
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