• WordNet 3.6
    • adj debasing used of conduct; characterized by dishonor
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Debasing tending to lower or degrade
    • ***


  • Simone Weil
    “Whatever debases the intelligence degrades the entire human being.”
  • Cathy Better
    Cathy Better
    “Life is raw material. We are artisans. We can sculpt our existence into something beautiful, or debase it into ugliness. It's in our hands.”
  • Francis Bacon
    “Nuptial love makes mankind; friendly love perfects it; but wanton love corrupts and debases it.”
  • Gore Vidal
    “The theater needs continual reminders that there is nothing more debasing than the work of those who do well what is not worth doing at all.”


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. de, down, and base, low.


In literature:

He came of a family of colliers, the most debased class in a lawless district.
"Tales of the Five Towns" by Arnold Bennett
How many are the instances in the world's history of great minds debased and ruined by alcohol!
"Fifteen Years in Hell" by Luther Benson
The debased coinage was replaced by a recoinage of newly minted coins with a true silver weight.
"Our Legal Heritage, 5th Ed." by S. A. Reilly
Then you are already debased in your sentiments.
"Searchlights on Health" by B. G. Jefferis and J. L. Nichols
But the old will of the people has been debased by sensual indulgence.
"Grappling with the Monster" by T. S. Arthur
The words of the preacher had equally debased all women.
"Amos Kilbright; His Adscititious Experiences" by Frank R. Stockton
Limestone capitals of debased leafage.
"How to Observe in Archaeology" by Various
If the gaze of his fellow-men tortures him, before you at least he is not ashamed of debasing toil!
"The Poor Gentleman" by Hendrik Conscience
Would not obedience without faith be merely a debasing superstitious submission to the will of the believing?
"Lippincott's Magazine Of Popular Literature And Science, No. 23, February, 1873, Vol. XI. No. 23." by Various
In the dryest, the largest, the best of them there is everything to debase the manhood and nauseate the soul.
"McClure's Magazine, January, 1896, Vol. VI. No. 2" by Various
What spring of action could raise a Negro from his debased condition?
"The Journal of Negro History, Vol. I. Jan. 1916" by Various
And has He implanted in us as the strongest of our instincts that which cannot elevate and must debase?
"Youth and Sex" by Mary Scharlieb and F. Arthur Sibly
But she wasn't yet wholly debased in her own eyes.
"Winner Take All" by Larry Evans
And the slave-owner suffered most of all, for he came to regard work as debasing.
"Little Journeys To The Homes Of Great Teachers" by Elbert Hubbard
"The Principles of Gothic Ecclesiastical Architecture, Elucidated by Question and Answer, 4th ed." by Matthew Holbeche Bloxam
The faculty has been lowered and debased until it might almost be considered practically synonymous with sensuality.
"Plain Facts for Old and Young" by John Harvey Kellogg
Two or three of the debased, weather-beaten faces impressed themselves on his memory.
"The Child of Pleasure" by Gabriele D'Annunzio
The rich fool who tosses a dollar to a waiter for some trifling service, debases the waiter, injures himself, and wrongs the public.
"Captains of Industry" by James Parton
The gold coinage was correspondingly though not so excessively debased.
"An Introduction to the Industrial and Social History of England" by Edward Potts Cheyney
If those who debased them were the only victims, no just condemnation could be pronounced against them.
"Wigwam and War-path; Or the Royal Chief in Chains" by A. B. (Alfred Benjamin) Meacham

In poetry:

'Twas the Sabbath. From my casement
Glanced mine eye along the road;
Scene I saw of dark debasement—
Blush, Oh earth! forgive, Oh God!
"A True Story: To Young Abstainers" by Janet Hamilton
Under what spell are we debased
By fears for our inviolate Isle,
Whose record is of dangers faced
And flung to heel with even smile?
Is it a vaster force, a subtler guile?
"The Call" by George Meredith
It is too much the fashion to strain at effects,--
Yes, that's what's the matter with Hannah!
Our popular taste, by the tyros debased,
Paints each barnyard a grove of Diana!
"Consistency" by Eugene Field
But come not here to batter and debase,
Nor hoping to reach license unconfined;
No alien hand our inscriptions may efface,
Justice may be, but vigilant Freedom is not, blind!
"America" by Maurice Thompson
He 'll tell you his standard as Man is disgraced;
He 'll portray the disease of his soul;
He 'll tell you he's humbled, degraded, debased,
By the demon that lurks in the bowl.
"Exhortation To Be Temperate" by John Pierpont
And still, as wild barbarians fiercely break
The graceful column and the marble dome--
Where arts too long have lain
Debased at pleasure's fain,
And bleeding justice called on wrath to come,
'Mid ruins heaped around, thou bidst thy votarists wake.
"Zophiel - Invocation" by Maria Gowen Brooks

In news:

Did Ephron liberate or debase women.
An election that debased our dreams.
The VP debate debased .
Church Must Not Be Debased to Fashion of the Times.
Debased Dollar Getting On Brazil Fin Min's Nerves.
Lame Fareed Zakaria defenses show confused, debased state of journalism.
"There is nothing more insidious that a country can do to its citizens than debase its currency".
The Abuse and Debasement of "Rape".
" Debaser " at the Knockout.
Havoc continues throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa ignited by the debasing stereotypes and grotesque portrayals depicted in the film, Innocence of Islam.
Not satisfied with debasing and trivializing writing, painting, sculpture, and the performing arts, our buzz-loving, Tina Brownish pop culture arbiters are now playing with our food.
Some Say Popular Software Debases Public Speaking .
It's not that people have decided, with Jean-Jacques Rousseau , that they hate books because they're debasing and corrupting.
From Dominique Strauss-Kahn to Casey Anthony to Rupert Murdoch, the media are debasing the public conversation—and therefore our democratic process.
How sexual harassment law debases politics and journalism.