de·​grad·​ing di-ˈgrā-diŋ How to pronounce degrading (audio)
: causing or associated with a low, destitute, or demoralized state : causing someone to be or feel degraded
a degrading experience
… a work about a young man full of bottled rage looking for a degrading job …Penelope Gilliatt
… any cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment of detainees was absolutely forbidden …David Cole
degradingly adverb
"I hate to be poor, and we are degradingly poor, offensively poor, miserably poor, beastly poor." Charles Dickens
When employees are treated degradingly by their manager, they respond with decreased motivation, commitment, loyalty, and productivity. Ken Lloyd

Examples of degrading in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Nevertheless, Mulkey was right to bash the degrading, divisive and defamatory commentary published in the L.A. Times. Los Angeles Times, 6 Apr. 2024 The vulnerability of these cables was emphasized in late February, when a few were damaged in the Red Sea, markedly degrading people’s online experience in parts of East Africa and South Asia. David Meyer, Fortune, 2 Apr. 2024 Human rights groups have repeatedly criticized airdrops as an inefficient and degrading way of getting aid to Gazans, instead urging Israeli authorities to lift controls on land crossings into the enclave. Abdelqadder Sabbah, CNN, 27 Mar. 2024 The nonprofit found that women in the department faced harassment, degrading comments, limited promotional opportunities and poor representation in leadership. Cameron Knight, The Enquirer, 13 Mar. 2024 Humanitarian agencies previously criticized the drops as inefficient and a degrading way of getting aid to Gazans, urging Israeli authorities to lift controls on land crossings into the enclave. Sana Noor Haq, CNN, 13 Mar. 2024 Now that sea levels are higher, the concrete and steel foundation piles are exposed to the degrading effects of saltwater more often. Alex Harris, Miami Herald, 22 Feb. 2024 His hands were tied behind his back and he was treated in a degrading and humiliating manner. Katie Polglase, CNN, 21 Feb. 2024 This culminated in its 1985 test launch by an F-15 fighter jet, releasing a payload at around 38,000 feet that whooshed into orbit and destroyed a degrading U.S. satellite, according to the U.S. Air Force museum. Alexander Smith, NBC News, 15 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'degrading.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1540, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of degrading was circa 1540

Dictionary Entries Near degrading

Cite this Entry

“Degrading.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

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