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debauch

[dih-bawch] /dɪˈbɔtʃ/
verb (used with object)
1.
to corrupt by sensuality, intemperance, etc.; seduce.
2.
to corrupt or pervert; sully:
His honesty was debauched by the prospect of easy money.
3.
Archaic. to lead away, as from allegiance or duty.
verb (used without object)
4.
to indulge in debauchery.
noun
5.
a period of wanton or sensual self-indulgence.
6.
an uninhibited spree or party; orgy:
a wild debauch.
Origin of debauch
1585-1595
1585-95; < French débaucher to entice away from duty, debauch, Old French desbauchier to disperse, scatter, equivalent to des- dis-1 + -bauchier, derivative of bauc, bauch beam (< Germanic; see balcony, balk; compare French ébaucher to rough-hew); hence, presumably, to hew (beams) > to split, separate > to separate from work or duty
Related forms
debaucher, noun
debauchment, noun
Can be confused
debauch, debouch.
Synonyms
1. See debase.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for debauch
Historical Examples
  • In a moment the cobwebs of his debauch began to fall from him, and he became alert.

    The Law-Breakers Ridgwell Cullum
  • Of the younger men, many were sleeping off the debauch of the previous evening.

    Roland Cashel Charles James Lever
  • Is it no part of the price that you spend your days in pleasure and your nights in debauch?

    Roland Cashel Charles James Lever
  • Can I even trust him in hours of convivial abandonment and debauch?

    Roland Cashel Charles James Lever
  • The old chief seemed contrite after his debauch, but did not mention it.

    Rodney, the Ranger John V. Lane
  • Dawson Charlie, reeling home from a debauch, drowns in the river.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service
  • In all that fierce madness of debauch, thank God, I retained my honour.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service
  • The place was deserted, strewed with débris of the night's debauch.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service
  • It favors not the association of the cup, the dice-box, or the debauch.

  • All this was by way of preparation for the evening's debauch.

    A Hungarian Nabob Maurus Jkai
British Dictionary definitions for debauch

debauch

/dɪˈbɔːtʃ/
verb
1.
(when transitive, usually passive) to lead into a life of depraved self-indulgence
2.
(transitive) to seduce (a woman)
noun
3.
an instance or period of extreme dissipation
Derived Forms
debauchedly (dɪˈbɔːtʃɪdlɪ) adverb
debauchedness, noun
debaucher, noun
debauchery, debauchment, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Old French desbaucher to corrupt, literally: to shape (timber) roughly, from bauch beam, of Germanic origin
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 debauch
v.

1590s, from Middle French débaucher "entice from work or duty," from Old French desbaucher "to lead astray," supposedly literally "to trim (wood) to make a beam" (from bauch "beam," from Frankish balk or some other Germanic source akin to English balk). A sense of "shaving" something away, perhaps, but the root is also said to be a word meaning "workshop," which gets toward the notion of "to lure someone off the job;" either way the sense evolution is unclear.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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