[ dih-bawch ]
See synonyms for: debauchdebauched on

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.

  1. Archaic. to lead away, as from allegiance or duty.

verb (used without object)
  1. to indulge in debauchery.

  1. a period of wanton or sensual self-indulgence.

  2. an uninhibited spree or party; orgy: a wild debauch.

Origin of debauch

First recorded in 1585–95; from 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 (from Germanic; see balcony, balk; compare French ébaucher “to rough-hew”); hence, presumably, “to hew (beams),” becoming “to split, separate,” becoming “to separate from work or duty”

Other words from debauch

  • de·bauch·er, noun
  • de·bauch·ment, noun

Words that may be confused with debauch Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use debauch in a sentence

  • What surprises me yet more is, that some would believe that Socrates was a debaucher of young men!

  • Happily they found not that pernicious bane which is alike the corrupter of private morals and the debaucher of nations.

    The Knight of the Golden Melice | John Turvill Adams
  • The desires of a drunkard, a debaucher, are as strong after death as before.

    Ghosts I Have Seen | Violet Tweedale
  • For he is said to be the debaucher of the wives of others; he is the shameless lover and ravisher of a beautiful boy.

    The City of God, Volume I | Aurelius Augustine

British Dictionary definitions for debauch


/ (dɪˈbɔːtʃ) /

  1. (when tr, usually passive) to lead into a life of depraved self-indulgence

  2. (tr) to seduce (a woman)

  1. an instance or period of extreme dissipation

Origin of debauch

C16: from Old French desbaucher to corrupt, literally: to shape (timber) roughly, from bauch beam, of Germanic origin

Derived forms of debauch

  • debauchedly (dɪˈbɔːtʃɪdlɪ), adverb
  • debauchedness, noun
  • debaucher, noun
  • debauchery or debauchment, noun

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