Synonyms & Antonyms of debase

1 to lower in character, dignity, or quality
  • we debase ourselves when we adopt the moral code and behavior of our despised enemies

Synonyms for debase

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Frequently Asked Questions About debase

How is the word debase different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of debase are corrupt, debauch, deprave, pervert, and vitiate. While all these words 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

In what contexts can corrupt take the place of debase?

The words corrupt and debase can be used in similar contexts, but corrupt implies loss of soundness, purity, or integrity.

the belief that bureaucratese corrupts the language

When is it sensible to use debauch instead of debase?

The words debauch and debase are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, debauch implies a debasing through sensual indulgence.

the long stay on a tropical isle had debauched the ship's crew

Where would deprave be a reasonable alternative to debase?

While in some cases nearly identical to debase, deprave implies moral deterioration by evil thoughts or influences.

the claim that society is depraved by pornography

When would pervert be a good substitute for debase?

The meanings of pervert and debase largely overlap; however, pervert implies a twisting or distorting from what is natural or normal.

perverted the original goals of the institute

When is vitiate a more appropriate choice than debase?

While the synonyms vitiate and debase are close in meaning, vitiate implies a destruction of purity, validity, or effectiveness by allowing entrance of a fault or defect.

a foreign policy vitiated by partisanship

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Time Traveler for debase

Time Traveler

The first known use of debase was in 1565

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Cite this Entry

“Debase.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on debase

Nglish: Translation of debase for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of debase for Arabic Speakers


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