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abase

[uh-beys] /əˈbeɪs/
verb (used with object), abased, abasing.
1.
to reduce or lower, as in rank, office, reputation, or estimation; humble; degrade.
2.
Archaic. to lower; put or bring down:
He abased his head.
Origin of abase
late Middle English
1470-1480
1470-80; a-5 + base2; replacing late Middle English abassen, equivalent to a-5 + bas base2; replacing Middle English abaissen, abe(i)sen < Anglo-French abesser, abaisser, Old French abaissier, equivalent + a- a-5 + -baissier < Vulgar Latin *bassiare, verbal derivative of Late Latin bassus; see base2
Related forms
abasement, noun
abaser, noun
unabasing, adjective
Synonyms
1. humiliate, dishonor, defame, belittle.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for abase
Historical Examples
  • He saw a way to hurt her, to abase her pride, and cut her to the very soul with shame.

    St. Martin's Summer Rafael Sabatini
  • He was so happy that he wanted to abase himself before some one.

    The Red Hand of Ulster George A. Birmingham
  • But we have a great many who have helped to abase their classes.

  • Each gets what it desires, but the great state must learn to abase itself.

    Tao Teh King Lao-Tze
  • Commander of the faithful, abase not yourself to the meanness of your slave.

    Vathek William Beckford
  • You see, I abase myself, I abase myself of my own free will.

    Short Stories Fiodor Dostoievski
  • We have all so much reason to abase ourselves, and repent in dust and ashes!

    Madonna Mary Mrs. Oliphant
  • They are a little——' And here, not choosing to abase herself, she curtseyed.

    A Tale of Two Tunnels William Clark Russell
  • Whether we exalt ourselves it is for God; whether we abase ourselves it is for you.'

  • Can you behold every one that is proud, and abase him, and bind their faces in secret?

British Dictionary definitions for abase

abase

/əˈbeɪs/
verb (transitive)
1.
to humble or belittle (oneself, etc)
2.
to lower or reduce, as in rank or estimation
Derived Forms
abasement, noun
Word Origin
C15: abessen, from Old French abaissier to make low. See base²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for abase
v.

late 14c., abaishen, from Old French abaissier "diminish, make lower in value or status" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *ad bassiare "bring lower," from Late Latin bassus "thick, fat, low;" from the same source as base (adj.) and altered 16c. in English by influence of it, which made it an exception to the rule that Old French verbs with stem -iss- enter English as -ish. Related: Abased; abasing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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