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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. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for debauches
Historical Examples
  • In fact, his remorseful recovery from his debauches had become her occasion for pouring out upon him the mother in her.

    The Readjustment Will Irwin
  • Germinie plunged into these debauches with—what shall I say?

    Germinie Lacerteux Edmond and Jules de Goncourt
  • He debauches his morals, and those of his wife and children, by withholding from them the word of God.

  • Cases in Court had to be adjourned because of the debauches of lawyers.

    The Trail of '98 Robert W. Service
  • He has had steady two-quarts-a-day men, and men who were subject only to semiannual debauches.

    Smoking and Drinking James Parton
  • I loved not debauches, but their martiall conversation was not so fitt for the muses.

  • His dull eyes were pursy with midnight debauches; his flesh sagged.

    The Trail of '98 Robert W. Service
  • And it should act quickly, because commercialism exploits and debauches quickly.

    Our Southern Highlanders Horace Kephart
  • Sunday debauches are abuses that call loud for amendment; it is in this pernicious soil the seeds of ruin are first sown.

    Augusta Triumphans Daniel Defoe
  • The Virgin of pure song brought music that debauches the soul.

British Dictionary definitions for debauches

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 debauches

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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