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debauch

[dih-bawch]
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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.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to indulge in debauchery.
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noun
  1. a period of wanton or sensual self-indulgence.
  2. an uninhibited spree or party; orgy: a wild debauch.
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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 formsde·bauch·er, nounde·bauch·ment, noun
Can be confuseddebauch debouch

Synonyms for debauch

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1. See debase.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for debauch

defile, pervert, pollute, inveigle, bastardize, debase, violate, seduce, subvert, ruin, vitiate, deflower, demoralize, betray, lure, warp, abuse, tempt, fraternize, ravish

Examples from the Web for debauch

Historical Examples of debauch

  • In a moment the cobwebs of his debauch began to fall from him, and he became alert.

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • Of the younger men, many were sleeping off the debauch of the previous evening.

    Roland Cashel

    Charles James Lever

  • Is it no part of the price that you spend your days in pleasure and your nights in debauch?

    Roland Cashel

    Charles James Lever

  • Can I even trust him in hours of convivial abandonment and debauch?

    Roland Cashel

    Charles James Lever

  • The old chief seemed contrite after his debauch, but did not mention it.

    Rodney, the Ranger

    John V. Lane


British Dictionary definitions for debauch

debauch

verb
  1. (when tr, usually passive) to lead into a life of depraved self-indulgence
  2. (tr) to seduce (a woman)
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noun
  1. an instance or period of extreme dissipation
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Derived Formsdebauchedly (dɪˈbɔːtʃɪdlɪ), adverbdebauchedness, noundebaucher, noundebauchery or debauchment, noun

Word Origin for debauch

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

Word Origin and History for 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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper