Definition of debase in English:


Line breaks: de¦base
Pronunciation: /dɪˈbeɪs


  • 2 historical Lower the value of (coinage) by reducing the content of precious metal: the King was forced to debase the coinage
    More example sentences
    • It should be noted that the coinage was often debased (lowered in value through the admixture of alloy) and strategically revalued.
    • The state has understood this lesson since the kings of old began repeatedly to debase the coinage.
    • In Europe, gold was democratized by its use in coins, even though successive rulers tried to debase them by mixing in lesser metals or reducing their size.
    reduce in value, reduce in quality; contaminate, adulterate, pollute, taint, defile, spoil, foul, sully, depreciate, corrupt, bastardize; dilute, alloy
    rare vitiate



More example sentences
  • The debasement and corruption of the media are profound symptoms of the decomposition of the country's democracy.
  • They blame pornography for divorce, the dissolution of families, the debasement of sex, and general spiritual dissolution.
  • Patents have made science increasingly profit-focused, a debasement which has led to calls from some scientists to do away with them altogether.


More example sentences
  • Numerous laws and statutes enacted against ‘multipliers of metals’ and debasers of coins suggest that this was a profitable medieval equivalent of money-laundering and financial fraud.
  • America needs a third political party - a real third party that will stand up to Washington's nefarious tax tyrants and dollar debasers.
  • A perpetual drunkard and debaser of women, he spends most of his waking hours wandering around his house in a bathrobe, playing racquetball in a converted barn, and painting nudes.


mid 16th century (in the sense 'humiliate, belittle'): from de- 'down' + the obsolete verb base (compare with abase), expressing the notion 'bring down completely'.

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