[ dih-beys ]
See synonyms for: debasedebaseddebasing on

verb (used with object),de·based, de·bas·ing.
  1. to reduce in quality or value; adulterate: They debased the value of the dollar.

  2. to lower in rank, dignity, or significance: He wouldn't debase himself by doing manual labor.

Origin of debase

First recorded in 1555–65; de- + base2; cf. abase

Other words for debase

Other words from debase

  • de·base·ment, noun
  • de·bas·er, noun
  • de·bas·ing·ly, adverb

Words Nearby debase Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use debase in a sentence

  • Both are harmful, but the debt route is a less visible way to debase the currency.

  • But I feel that were I to accept the award, it would ultimately debase the coinage of the medal.

    A Prize Too Far | Christopher Buckley | October 10, 2009 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • How dreadfully these puttees and haversacks debase even the most beautiful figures.

    Sinister Street, vol. 1 | Compton Mackenzie
  • I cannot understand how human beings can so debase themselves.

  • Mr. Belcher had not failed to debauch or debase the moral standard of every man over whom he had any direct influence.

    Sevenoaks | J. G. Holland
  • To call these men statesmen is to debase the name, but they ruled the State, thanks to my Lady Castlemaine.

    Court Beauties of Old Whitehall | W. R. H. Trowbridge
  • How many debase their bodies to hasten the perfection of their minds, and degrade their character to adorn their understanding!

    The Aesthetical Essays | Friedrich Schiller

British Dictionary definitions for debase


/ (dɪˈbeɪs) /

  1. (tr) to lower in quality, character, or value, as by adding cheaper metal to coins; adulterate

Origin of debase

C16: see de-, base ²

Derived forms of debase

  • debasedness (dɪˈbeɪsɪdnɪs), noun
  • debasement, noun
  • debaser, noun
  • debasingly, adverb

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