• WordNet 3.6
    • adj degraded lowered in value "the dollar is low","a debased currency"
    • adj degraded unrestrained by convention or morality "Congreve draws a debauched aristocratic society","deplorably dissipated and degraded","riotous living","fast women"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Canada declared national beauty contests canceled as of 1992, claiming they were degrading to women.
    • Degraded (Her) Having steps; -- said of a cross each of whose extremities finishes in steps growing larger as they leave the center; -- termed also on degrees.
    • Degraded (Biol) Having the typical characters or organs in a partially developed condition, or lacking certain parts. "Some families of plants are degraded dicotyledons."
    • Degraded Reduced in rank, character, or reputation; debased; sunken; low; base. "The Netherlands . . . were reduced practically to a very degraded condition."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • degraded Reduced in rank; deprived of an office or a dignity.
    • degraded Lowered in character or value; debased; low.
    • degraded In biology, reduced in taxonomic rank, or in complexity of structure or function; brought to or being in a state of degradation.
    • degraded In heraldry, placed upon steps. Also degreed.
    • degraded In geology, worn down; leveled by erosion.
    • degraded In thermodynamics, reduced to a form less available for further transformation: said of energy which as the result of transformations has been converted into heat.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • p.adjs Degraded reduced in rank: base: low:
    • p.adjs Degraded (her.) placed on steps
    • ***


  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
    “As soon as beauty is sought not from religion and love, but for pleasure, it degrades the seeker.”
  • Alice James
    Alice James
    “I suppose one has a greater sense of intellectual degradation after an interview with a doctor than from any human experience.”
  • William Blake
    “The foundation of empire is art and science. Remove them or degrade them, and the empire is no more. Empire follows art and not vice versa as Englishmen suppose.”
  • Booker T. Washington
    “I will not permit any man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him.”
  • Christopher Hampton
    Christopher Hampton
    “I think there's something degrading about having a husband for a rival. It's humiliating if you fail and commonplace if you succeed.”
  • Simone Weil
    “A hurtful act is the transference to others of the degradation which we bear in ourselves.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. F. degré, step
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. dégrader—L. de, down, and gradus, a step. See Grade.


In literature:

I saw that as long as I remained friendless and unknown nothing but degraded toil was open to me.
"The Trail of '98" by Robert W. Service
Must I continue this degradation?
"Possessed" by Cleveland Moffett
Her home life was of the most degrading nature.
"Masterpieces of Negro Eloquence" by Various
Out of the streets, out of the bestial degradation of that life of shame and drink, into sheer hell?
"Despair's Last Journey" by David Christie Murray
After the ceremony of degradation was over, the bishops delivered Dr. Huss to the emperor, who put him into the hands of the duke of Bavaria.
"Fox's Book of Martyrs" by John Foxe
It is good to wander along lines of sea-coast, when formed of moderately hard rocks, and mark the {283} process of degradation.
"On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection" by Charles Darwin
Drink and unrestrained selfishness had utterly degraded him.
"Mary Wollstonecraft" by Elizabeth Robins Pennell
Foreigners generally extremely ignorant and degraded.
"The Shirley Letters from California Mines in 1851-52" by Louise Amelia Knapp Smith Clappe
It is and always has been the result of moral degradation and wantonness.
"Searchlights on Health: Light on Dark Corners" by B.G. Jefferis
Not only could he degrade the peerage by lavishing its honours, but he could degrade it yet more by putting them up to sale.
"History of the English People, Volume V (of 8)" by John Richard Green

In poetry:

Prince of the degradations, bought and sold,
These verses, written in your crumbling sty,
Proclaim the faith that I have held and hold
And publish that in which I mean to die.
"Ballade to Our Lady of Czestochowa" by Hilaire Belloc
His genius and his moral frame
Were thus impaired, and he became
The slave of low desires:
A Man who without self-control
Would seek what the degraded soul
Unworthily admires.
"Ruth" by William Wordsworth
My friend, within God’s House thou dwellest now;
Thy wounds are healed—thou need’st no Gilead-balm;
Defeated and degraded, yet thy brow
Is crowned,—with death and calm.
"David’s Lament For Jonathan" by Mary Hannay Foott
Some, the degraded slaves of lust,
Prostrate and trampled in the dust,
Shall rise no more;
Others, by guilt and crime, maintain
The scutcheon, that without a stain,
Their fathers bore.
"Coplas De Manrique (From The Spanish)" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Love's cherished gift, the rose he gave, is faded;
Love's blighted flower, can never bloom again.
Weep for thy fault—in heart—in mind degraded:
Weep, ifthy tears can wash away the stain.
"Waters of Elle! thy limpid streams are flowing," by Lady Caroline Lamb
To call a soldier a beggar is a very degrading name,
And in my opinion it's a very great shame;
And the man that calls him a beggar is not the soldier's friend,
And no sensible soldier should on him depend.
"Lines in Praise of Tommy Atkins" by William Topaz McGonagall

In news:

Microbes found in an undersea cloud of oil from the Deepwater Horizon blowout may have the potential to degrade oil faster than previously thought, according to a new study published Tuesday.
As it doesn't degrade in the environment, it can be classified as a persistent bioaccumulative toxic chemical.
To grasp how unusual this kind of dancing is, it is worth recalling how degrading most ballet training has become.
Typical maintenance recommendations such as systematic pressure checking or performance degradation monitoring leave much to be desired.
Ross's vertical blender is suitable for blending easily degradable solids.
About once a week, she will call my wife, crying, and tell her about being degraded one way or another.
As a consequence of these changes, the operating temperatures of hydraulic fluids used in these systems are significantly higher, leading to greater risks of oxidation and thermal degradation of the addi...
Claudia Helena Oxee, who worked at JFK for Pan Am, TWA and LTU International, says in her book: 'The level of passengers has been degrading.'.
Those of us active in preserving and restoring natural areas recognize the traditional approach to economic development could, over time, degrade our restoration efforts.
The problem lies in the conversion or degradation of complex biomass to make products of interest.
But where it's really bad is it doesn't degrade, so it's easier for it to end up as litter.
Compost also filters and degrades pollutants, protecting both surface and groundwater quality.
Pirelli says it needs a bigger choice of dry-weather F1 tire compounds to choose from to avoid low-degradation one-stop races like the Indian Grand Prix.
Start with degradation and end in celebration.
Degradation can be cured .

In science:

Construction and material inhomogeneity contribute to the constant term of energy resolution and is a common source of performance degradation.
CALICE Si/W electromagnetic calorimeter prototype, first testbeam results
Comparison between the full and staged pixel systems shows that at constant QCD background rate, the signal e–ciency is degraded by approximately 10% in the staged conflguration.
The CMS High Level Trigger
No degradation is visible, so the online selection does not result in a reduced performance. A comparison of the performance with the staged and full pixel detector is shown in flgure 56.
The CMS High Level Trigger
To achieve a homogeneous selection, ACS images were degraded and re-sampled to the WFPC2 quality using a point spread function (PSF) generated with the Tiny Tim software.
3D spectroscopy with VLT/GIRAFFE - II: Are Luminous Compact Galaxies merger remnants ?
Degrading the angular resolution of the images would allow to stack the images longer, but will decrease the contrast by increasing the noise, so that the limit will not improve.
Is Radiation of Quantized Black Holes Observable?