[ dih-beys ]
/ dɪˈbeɪs /

verb (used with object), de·based, de·bas·ing.

to reduce in quality or value; adulterate: They debased the value of the dollar.
to lower in rank, dignity, or significance: He wouldn't debase himself by doing manual labor.

Nearby words

  1. debakey,
  2. debanding,
  3. debar,
  4. debark,
  5. debarkation,
  6. debasement,
  7. debatable,
  8. debate,
  9. debater,
  10. debauch

Origin of debase

1555–65; de- + base2; cf. abase

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for debase

British Dictionary definitions for debase


/ (dɪˈbeɪs) /


(tr) to lower in quality, character, or value, as by adding cheaper metal to coins; adulterate
Derived Formsdebasedness (dɪˈbeɪsɪdnɪs), noundebasement, noundebaser, noundebasingly, adverb

Word Origin for debase

C16: see de-, base ²

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

Word Origin and History for debase



1560s, from de- "down" + base (adj.) "low," on analogy of abase (or, alternatively, from obsolete verb base "to abuse").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper