What word does your mother always say?


[deg-ruh-dey-shuh n] /ˌdɛg rəˈdeɪ ʃən/
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 forms
degradational, adjective
degradative, adjective
antidegradation, adjective
nondegradation, noun
self-degradation, noun
2. humiliation, disgrace, dishonor, debasement. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for degradation
  • The flipside of the country's rapid growth is a worrying degradation of its environment.
  • Continuing degradation of forest fragments is the main threat to this ecoregion.
  • Thus, the main threats in the region are overgrazing and forest degradation, though these pressures are not too severe.
  • Logic dictates that climate change and habitat degradation affect the world's plants and animals.
  • And for some reason people seem willing to accept technology degradation if an item is small and cute.
  • We are in a race between control of our own fecundity and the degradation of the world's environment.
  • If they do find that a book could be susceptible to degradation, preservationists have options.
  • Plastics, polishes and glues undergo chemical degradation if left exposed to the Sun.
  • Breweries typically avoid the degradation of their product by packaging it in brown or green bottles to protect it from light.
  • Many are already subject to recurring droughts, floods and soil degradation that can wipe out their livelihoods.
British Dictionary definitions for 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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for 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
Cite This Source
degradation in Medicine

degradation deg·ra·da·tion (děg'rə-dā'shən)
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.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for degradation

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for degradation

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with degradation