[ 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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use debase in a sentence

  • Did you not see his crooked claws when he set the bowl before you, that you might wallow in the debasing drink?

    Skipper Worse | Alexander Lange Kielland
  • Materialism, it is objected, makes of man a mere machine, which is considered very debasing to the human race.

  • The situation of Miriam during her exclusion from the camp suggest an observation on the debasing nature of sin.

  • It is a disgrace to be always wishing to shine; it is debasing to mount to the heights and then sink into the mire with the mob!

    Bouvard and Pcuchet, part 2 | Gustave Flaubert

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