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90s Slang You Should Know


[dih-bawch] /dɪˈbɔtʃ/
verb (used with object)
to corrupt by sensuality, intemperance, etc.; seduce.
to corrupt or pervert; sully:
His honesty was debauched by the prospect of easy money.
Archaic. to lead away, as from allegiance or duty.
verb (used without object)
to indulge in debauchery.
a period of wanton or sensual self-indulgence.
an uninhibited spree or party; orgy:
a wild debauch.
Origin of debauch
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.
1. See debase. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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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


(when transitive, usually passive) to lead into a life of depraved self-indulgence
(transitive) to seduce (a woman)
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



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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