Definition of degrade in English:

degrade

Line breaks: de|grade
Pronunciation: /dɪˈɡreɪd
 
/

verb

[with object]
1Treat or regard (someone) with contempt or disrespect: she thought that many supposedly erotic pictures degraded women
More example sentences
  • Imperialism, which has always been chummy with and supportive of its fascist kin, will play its historical role in degrading the people, dividing the society, and destroying the nation.
  • These are really two entirely different problems: lack of encouragement is not the same as someone degrading you as a person or telling you your project will never work.
  • He is just offended by an incongruous adaptation, which, in his opinion, undermines his own concept by degrading his heroine.
Synonyms
demean, debase, cheapen, devalue, prostitute, lower the status of, reduce, shame, humiliate, bring shame to, humble, mortify, abase, disgrace, dishonour; desensitize, dehumanize, brutalizehumiliated, demeaned, debased, cheapened, cheap, ashamed, abased; used
1.1Lower the character or quality of: vast areas of natural habitats have been degraded
More example sentences
  • Decades of harmful land use practices have degraded water quality in much of the species' historic habitat, leaving only a few remnant populations.
  • While the substance that degrades or lowers the quality of food is an adulterant.
  • A recent article reported that lagoons and sprayfields for animal waste near streams and watercourses may be significantly degrading water quality and endangering human health.
Synonyms
2Break down or deteriorate chemically: the bacteria will degrade hydrocarbons
More example sentences
  • This would mean that the decaying matter was buried (most likely under water) before it could be completely degraded to carbon dioxide and water.
  • Depilatories are put on skin to chemically degrade body hair.
  • Over time, however, it oxidizes and chemically degrades to form alcohols, ketones, aldehydes, acids and esters.
Synonyms
break down, deteriorate, degenerate, decay, atrophy
2.1 Physics Reduce (energy) to a less readily convertible form.
More example sentences
  • Energy is always degraded to a less useful form.
  • Heat death will occur when all the energy of the cosmos has been degraded to random heat energy, with random motions of molecules and uniform low-level temperatures.
  • On an orbiting satellite, energetic particle exposure degrades the efficiency of the solar-cell panels used to provide operating power.
2.2 Geology Wear down (rock) and cause it to disintegrate.
More example sentences
  • While stabilized and vegetated, the dune fields are often degraded, since in some cases it has been many thousands of years since they were last active.
  • As such, some peatlands are relict landforms, no longer actively accumulating peat, while other peatlands may even be slowly degrading, some even back to their mineral wetland origins.
  • We have seen no evidence that this degraded fault-line scarp is Holocene active.
3 archaic Reduce (someone) to a lower rank, especially as a punishment: he was degraded from his high estate
More example sentences
  • It degrades from the equal rank of Citizens all those whose opinions in Religion do not bend to those of the Legislative authority.
  • He was degraded from the grandeeship and exiled to the Philippines.
  • He was degraded from his dukedom in 1399, and was beheaded in January of the following year for conspiring against Henry IV.

Origin

late Middle English: from Old French degrader, from ecclesiastical Latin degradare, from de- 'down, away from' + Latin gradus 'step or grade'.

Derivatives

degradability

Pronunciation: /-əˈbɪlɪti/
noun
More example sentences
  • Additional research is warranted examining factors associated with ruminal degradability of barley grain as ruminal degradability is highly variable and has a large impact on animal performance.
  • Other studies have demonstrated that maturation frequently limits protein degradation rate and effective protein degradability in a variety of warm- and cool-season grasses.
  • In the 1970s, however, scientists revisited the idea of using cellulose by exploiting new technologies to enhance its properties whilst maintaining its degradability.

degradable

adjective
More example sentences
  • ‘We have not yet withdrawn from using the degradable bags, but we are looking at a number of alternatives, including paper bags which are not as environmentally-friendly,’ she said.
  • With waste that was non-biodegradable and material that could be recycled collected separately, it was an easy task to convert degradable waste into value-added compost.
  • It was the first of the major UK supermarket chains to introduce 100% degradable carrier bags in all stores.

degradative

Pronunciation: /-dətɪv/
adjective
More example sentences
  • These enzymes participate in the degradative process of compounds taken up by lysosomes.
  • Other characteristics thought to be critical to pathogenesis are adhesiveness to host cells, secretion of degradative enzymes, and interactions with the immune system.
  • It is questionable whether aerosol administration of such liposome systems would prove protective against degradative processes in the lung parenchyma.

degrader

noun
More example sentences
  • However, oxygen is a powerful degrader of organic compounds.
  • And for William Morris, it was industrial capitalism, the great degrader of mankind, which had stripped away man's dignity.
  • The presence of natural degraders does not, by itself, insure biodegradation will be successful.

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