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[dih-beys] /dɪˈbeɪs/
verb (used with object), debased, debasing.
to reduce in quality or value; adulterate:
They debased the value of the dollar.
to lower in rank, dignity, or significance:
He wouldn't debase himself by doing manual labor.
Origin of debase
1555-65; de- + base2; cf. abase
Related forms
[dih-bey-sid-nis, -beyst-] /dɪˈbeɪ sɪd nɪs, -ˈbeɪst-/ (Show IPA),
debasement, noun
debaser, noun
debasingly, adverb
self-debasement, noun
undebased, adjective
1. lower, vitiate, corrupt; contaminate, pollute, defile. 2. degrade, abase, demean, reduce. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for debased
  • The press will be as debased and sensational as possible.
  • Secondly, throughout history gold has been debased or discovered and the monetary system expanded.
  • News literacy won't change a debased media culture overnight.
  • Many university faculty share the concern that their advanced degrees have been debased.
  • It doesn't seem to want to protect its own citizens, prevent its own culture from being debased or help its own companies.
  • The views of the people can be conditioned and debased by powerful media propaganda.
  • Communist-imposed modernity defaced and debased cityscapes, language, manners and much more in the last century.
  • So to repeat, the currency was debased to buy off the army.
  • We've often heard from the party faithful that they'd rather be a pure minority than a debased majority.
  • Of course, a fully debased euro might not be worth saving, but you seen not to worry about that.
British Dictionary definitions for debased


(transitive) to lower in quality, character, or value, as by adding cheaper metal to coins; adulterate
Derived Forms
debasedness (dɪˈbeɪsɪdnɪs) noun
debasement, noun
debaser, noun
debasingly, adverb
Word Origin
C16: see de-, base²
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
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Word Origin and History for debased



1560s, from de- "down" + base (adj.) "low," on analogy of abase (or, alternatively, from obsolete verb base "to abuse").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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