degrade

[ dih-greyd or for 3, dee-greyd ]
/ dɪˈgreɪd or for 3, diˈgreɪd /

verb (used with object), de·grad·ed, de·grad·ing.

verb (used without object), de·grad·ed, de·grad·ing.

to become degraded; weaken or worsen; deteriorate.
Chemistry. (especially of an organic hydrocarbon compound) to break down or decompose.

Nearby words

  1. deglutition,
  2. degorger,
  3. degradable,
  4. degradation,
  5. degradation of energy,
  6. degraded,
  7. degrading,
  8. degranulation,
  9. degrease,
  10. degree

Origin of degrade

1275–1325; Middle English degraden < Late Latin dēgradāre, equivalent to Latin dē- de- + grad(us) grade + -āre infinitive suffix

Related formsde·grad·er, noun

Synonym study

1. See humble.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for degrade


British Dictionary definitions for degrade

degrade

/ (dɪˈɡreɪd) /

verb

(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
Derived Formsdegrader, noun

Word Origin for degrade

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

degrade

v.

late 14c., from Old French degrader (12c.) "degrade, deprive (of office, rank, etc.)," from des- "down" (see dis-) + Latin gradus "step" (see grade (n.)). Related: Degraded; degrading.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper