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Debase definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

DEBA'SE, v.t.
1. To reduce from a higher to a lower state or rank, in estimation.
The drunkard debases himself and his character.
Intemperance and debauchery debase men almost to a level with beasts.
2. To reduce or lower in quality, purity, or value; to adulterate; as, to debase gold or silver by alloy.
3. To lower or degrade; to make mean or despicable. Religion should not be debased by frivolous disputes. Vicious habits debase the mind, as well as the character.
4. To sink in purity or elegance; to vitiate by meanness; as, to debase style by the use of vulgar words.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: corrupt morally or by intemperance or sensuality; "debauch the young people with wine and women"; "Socrates was accused of corrupting young men"; "Do school counselors subvert young children?"; "corrupt the morals" [syn: corrupt, pervert, subvert, demoralize, demoralise, debauch, debase, profane, vitiate, deprave, misdirect]
2: lower in value by increasing the base-metal content [syn: debase, alloy]
3: corrupt, debase, or make impure by adding a foreign or inferior substance; often by replacing valuable ingredients with inferior ones; "adulterate liquor" [syn: load, adulterate, stretch, dilute, debase]

Merriam Webster's

transitive verb Date: 1565 1. to lower in status, esteem, quality, or character 2. a. to reduce the intrinsic value of (a coin) by increasing the base-metal content b. to reduce the exchange value of (a monetary unit) debasement noun debaser noun Synonyms: debase, vitiate, deprave, corrupt, debauch, pervert 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>. vitiate implies a destruction of purity, validity, or effectiveness by allowing entrance of a fault or defect <a foreign policy vitiated by partisanship>. deprave implies moral deterioration by evil thoughts or influences <the claim that society is depraved by pornography>. corrupt implies loss of soundness, purity, or integrity <the belief that bureaucratese corrupts the language>. debauch implies a debasing through sensual indulgence <the long stay on a tropical isle had debauched the ship's crew>. pervert implies a twisting or distorting from what is natural or normal <perverted the original goals of the institute>.

Oxford Reference Dictionary

v.tr. 1 lower in quality, value, or character. 2 depreciate (coin) by alloying etc. Derivatives: debasement n. debaser n. Etymology: DE- + obs. base for ABASE

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Debase De*base", v. t. [imp. & p. p. Debased; p. pr. & vb. n. Debasing.] [Pref. de- + base. See Base, a., and cf. Abase.] To reduce from a higher to a lower state or grade of worth, dignity, purity, station, etc.; to degrade; to lower; to deteriorate; to abase; as, to debase the character by crime; to debase the mind by frivolity; to debase style by vulgar words. The coin which was adulterated and debased. --Hale. It is a kind of taking God's name in vain to debase religion with such frivolous disputes. --Hooker. And to debase the sons, exalts the sires. --Pope. Syn: To abase; degrade. See Abase.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(debases, debasing, debased) To debase something means to reduce its value or quality. (FORMAL) Politicians have debased the meaning of the word 'freedom'... = degrade VERB: V n debased ...the debased standards of today's media. ADJ

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

v. a. 1. Lower, depress, reduce, deteriorate, impair, vitiate, injure, pervert, alloy. 2. Degrade, abase, disgrace, dishonor, humble, humiliate, shame, mortify, bring low, take down. 3. Contaminate, taint, defile, pollute, foul, befoul, corrupt, soil.

Moby Thesaurus

abase, abash, abuse, adulterate, alloy, bastardize, bear down, befoul, belittle, bring down, bring into discredit, bring low, bring shame upon, brutalize, bump, bust, canker, cast down, cast reproach upon, cheapen, coarsen, commercialize, confound, contaminate, convert, corrupt, couch, cripple, crush, cry down, cut, damage, debauch, debilitate, decry, defalcate, defile, deflower, defrock, degenerate, degrade, demean, demoralize, demote, denaturalize, denature, deplume, deprave, deprecate, depreciate, depress, derogate from, desecrate, despoil, detract from, detrude, devalue, dilute, diminish, disable, disapprove of, discredit, disgrace, disgrade, dishonor, disparage, displume, distort, divert, doctor, doctor up, downbear, downgrade, dump, dump on, embezzle, enfeeble, fortify, foul, harm, haul down, hold in contempt, humble, humiliate, impair, impute shame to, indent, infect, injure, knock, lace, let down, load, lower, make little of, maladminister, mar, minimize, misapply, misappropriate, misemploy, mishandle, mismanage, misuse, peculate, pervert, pilfer, pillory, poison, pollute, press down, profane, prostitute, pull down, push down, put down, put to shame, ravage, ravish, reduce, reflect discredit upon, reproach, rot, run down, sap, set down, shame, sink, slight, sophisticate, speak ill of, spike, spoil, stain, strip of rank, submit to indignity, taint, take down, tamper with, thrust down, trip up, twist, ulcerate, undermine, unfrock, violate, vitiate, vulgarize, warp, water, water down, weaken, weight, worsen


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