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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

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

Examples from the Web for debauches

Historical Examples

  • We are after the big man, the man who debauches as well as the man who receives.

    A Woman for Mayor

    Helen M. Winslow

  • His dull eyes were pursy with midnight debauches; his flesh sagged.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service

  • Cases in Court had to be adjourned because of the debauches of lawyers.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service

  • Germinie plunged into these debauches with—what shall I say?

    Germinie Lacerteux

    Edmond and Jules de Goncourt

  • I loved not debauches, but their martiall conversation was not so fitt for the muses.


British Dictionary definitions for debauches

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

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 debauches

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