View synonyms for degradation


[ deg-ruh-dey-shuhn ]


  1. the act of degrading. degrade.
  2. the state of being degraded. degraded.

    Synonyms: debasement, dishonor, disgrace, humiliation

  3. Physical Geography. the wearing down of the land by the erosive action of water, wind, or ice.
  4. Chemistry. the breakdown of an organic compound.


/ ˌdɛɡrəˈdeɪʃən /


  1. the act of degrading or the state of being degraded
  2. a state of degeneration, squalor, or poverty
  3. some act, constraint, etc, that is degrading
  4. the wearing down of the surface of rocks, cliffs, etc, by erosion, weathering, or some other process
  5. chem a breakdown of a molecule into atoms or smaller molecules
  6. physics an irreversible process in which the energy available to do work is decreased
  7. RC Church the permanent unfrocking of a priest
“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

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Other Words From

  • degra·dation·al adjective
  • degra·dative adjective
  • anti·degra·dation adjective
  • nondeg·ra·dation noun
  • self-degra·dation noun
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Word History and Origins

Origin of degradation1

First recorded in 1525–35; from Late Latin dēgradātiōn-, stem of dēgradātiō, from dēgradāt(us) “degraded” (past participle of dēgradāre; degrade ) + -iō -ion
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Example Sentences

Meanwhile those excluded from the environmental movement are often the same people who face the greatest threats from climate change and have the most to lose from environmental degradation.

Hurricanes and floods, droughts and fires, environmental degradation, increased poverty and fierce global resource competition are just some of the likely potential harms.

These contributions will help offset some of the degradation of insect habitat.

They don’t want to show human brutishness and degradation in their museums.

However, despite this support, over the course of 2020 I experienced a material degradation of my overall mental health, which resulted in a period of hospitalization in August.

From Quartz

There are always examples of degradation, but there are very few examples of ecosystems left that are that pristine.

Digestion is a technical term which relates the mechanical, enzymatic, and chemical degradation of food.

“Since this past November, you have seen the slow and steady drumbeat of degradation,” Steele says.

And this of course raises the specter of Republican lies that make their own contribution to the degradation of public discourse.

So it is with Just Send Me Word, a heroic love story amid the squalor and degradation of the Gulag.

It all charmed him inexpressibly, so that he realised—yes, in a sense—the degradation of his twenty years' absorption in business.

But Weirmarsh, with his innate cunning, presented to him a picture of exposure and degradation which held him horrified.

Come to our aid then; the morning of our Redemption from degradation, adorns the horizon.

Raise the mothers above the level of degradation, and the offspring is elevated with them.

He watches the budding of evil instincts, the ignoble habits idly acquired in degradation.


Related Words




degradabledegradation of energy