[dih-greyd or for 3, dee-greyd]
- to lower in dignity or estimation; bring into contempt: He felt they were degrading him by making him report to the supervisor.
- to lower in character or quality; debase.
- to reduce (someone) to a lower rank, degree, etc.; deprive of office, rank, status, or title, especially as a punishment: degraded from director to assistant director.
- to reduce in amount, strength, intensity, etc.
- Physical Geography. to wear down by erosion, as hills.Compare aggrade.
- Chemistry. to break down (a compound, especially an organic hydrocarbon).
- to become degraded; weaken or worsen; deteriorate.
- Chemistry. (especially of an organic hydrocarbon compound) to break down or decompose.
Origin of degrade
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1. See humble.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for degrade
Now Obama promises to “degrade and destroy” the self-declared Islamic State (or ISIL, or ISIS).Why ISIS Keeps Running Circles Around Us, Just Like Al Qaeda Did Before 9/11
September 11, 2014
U.S. warplanes have already flown more than 100 sorties to degrade ISIS ground forces, and many more bombs are on the way.This Really Is Obama's Moment of Truth
September 4, 2014
The plan to degrade al Qaeda enough so that U.S. forces can leave is already lagging behind schedule.Obama’s Counterterror Plan Has New Doubters: His Own Generals and Spies
Josh Rogin, Kimberly Dozier
July 15, 2014
“Dioxin” is the dirtiest of dirty words and this designation, like the chemical itself, does not degrade.Antibacterial Soap’s Deadly Secret
May 21, 2014
Kenneth recognizes the terrible truths of our existence: that gun violence will continue to devastate and degrade everyone.If Gun Violence Is A Disease, These People Might Just Be The Cure
April 1, 2014
Nothing could degrade them beyond the reach of their sympathies!Weighed and Wanting
He might degrade Marcolina by mockery and lascivious phrases, full of innuendo.Casanova's Homecoming
Nor did he degrade his art by caricatures drawn in hotel bars.The Incomplete Amorist
Do you think that if I spat upon him, I could degrade him to a lower level than his own?Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit
Oh, how strange that you of the North see not how you degrade him when you keep him here!Slavery Ordained of God
Rev. Fred A. Ross, D.D.
- (tr) to reduce in worth, character, etc; disgrace; dishonour
- (diːˈɡreɪd) (tr) to reduce in rank, status, or degree; remove from office; demote
- (tr) to reduce in strength, quality, intensity, etc
- to reduce or be reduced by erosion or down-cutting, as a land surface or bed of a riverCompare aggrade
- chem to decompose or be decomposed into atoms or smaller molecules
C14: from Late Latin dēgradāre, from Latin de- + gradus rank, degree
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 degrade
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper