the act of degrading.
the state of being degraded.
Physical Geography. the wearing down of the land by the erosive action of water, wind, or ice.
Chemistry. the breakdown of an organic compound.

Origin of degradation

1525–35; < Late Latin dēgradātiōn- (stem of dēgradātiō), equivalent to dēgradāt(us) (past participle of dēgradāre to degrade) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsdeg·ra·da·tion·al, adjectivedeg·ra·da·tive, adjectivean·ti·deg·ra·da·tion, adjectivenon·deg·ra·da·tion, nounself-deg·ra·da·tion, noun

Synonyms for degradation Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for self-degradation

Historical Examples of self-degradation

  • Then he wrote a few lines to the superintendent and enclosed his self-degradation.

    A Singer from the Sea

    Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr

  • It had not faltered before the self-degradation of which she had just spoken.

    The Missourian

    Eugene P. (Eugene Percy) Lyle

  • In the first days of my self-degradation, I had ceased to see Mary.

    The Two Destinies

    Wilkie Collins

  • Never attempt to accommodate yourself to the world by self-degradation.

    Cashel Byron's Profession

    George Bernard Shaw

  • Lilly felt a hot desire to protect him against the self-degradation in which he indulged.

    The Song of Songs

    Hermann Sudermann

British Dictionary definitions for self-degradation



the act of degrading or the state of being degraded
a state of degeneration, squalor, or poverty
some act, constraint, etc, that is degrading
the wearing down of the surface of rocks, cliffs, etc, by erosion, weathering, or some other process
chem a breakdown of a molecule into atoms or smaller molecules
physics an irreversible process in which the energy available to do work is decreased
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

Word Origin and History for self-degradation



1530s, from French dégradation (14c., Old French degradacion), from Medieval Latin degradationem (nominative degradatio), noun of action from past participle stem of degradare (see degrade).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

self-degradation in Medicine




Progressive decomposition of a chemical compound into a less complex compound.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.