V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: 1. to lower in status, esteem, quality, value, or character; 2. to corrupt someone or something

Synonyms: cheapen, degrade, demean, devalue, humiliate, disgrace

Antonyms: elevate, enhance, exalt

Tips: Debase comes from the Latin word bassus, "short" or "low in stature." It implies a lowering in status or value. Debase is similar in meaning to demean. Debase is to lower the status of, while demean is to humiliate by making someone feel lower in status. Debase is a negative word, but it is not as negative as demean, which denotes humiliation in addition to lowering one's status.

Usage Examples:

Some believe that the use of slang debases the English language. (degrades)

Rampant inflation has debased the currency to the point where it is practically worthless. (devalued)

He debased his enemies with slanderous insults. (humiliated, disgraced)

The photographer felt that her work would be debased if she sold it commercially. (degraded, devalued)

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