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debase
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Definition to degrade (decrease) the purity, quality, or status of something — often morality or metals
  • Prosecutors said fighters raped village elders to publicly debase them.
debase = decrease the status
  • Hearing "civilized" languages debase humans ... I can say that my narrative project is as difficult today as it was thirty years ago.
    Toni Morrison  --  The Bluest Eye
  • debase = degrade
  • If they would kill a priest, why would they not kill a peasant without a second thought, or torture them for sport, or debase them.
    Rick Bragg  --  All Over but the Shoutin'
  • debase = degrade
  • a kind of "debased Romanesque"
    Charlotte Perkins Gilman  --  The Yellow Wallpaper
  • debased = degraded (reduced in purity or quality)
  • Even speech was for them a debased form of silence;
    Thornton Wilder  --  The Bridge of San Luis Rey
  • debased = degraded (decreased in quality)
  • The two women stood in the doorway of the hut gesticulating, talking not English but the debased French...
    Jean Rhys  --  Wide Sargasso Sea
  • debased = degrade (decreased) the purity, quality, or status of something
  • "So long as we have wage slavery," answered Schliemann, "it matters not in the least how debasing and repulsive a task may be, it is easy to find people to perform it."
    Upton Sinclair  --  The Jungle
  • debasing = degrading
  • The remarks grew ever more debased and treacherous so that Mr Charles - at least so he claimed - was obliged to intervene with the suggestion that such talk was bad form.
    Kazuo Ishiguro  --  The Remains of the Day
  • debased = lowered in character or quality
  • One American airman, shot down and relentlessly debased by his Japanese captors, described the state of mind that his captivity created: "I was literally becoming a lesser human being."
    Laura Hillenbrand  --  Unbroken
  • debased = treated as less-than-human
  • Many respectable physicists said that they weren't going to stand for this, partly because it was a debasement of science, but mostly because they didn't get invited to those sorts of parties.
    Douglas Adams  --  The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  • debasement = degradation (decrease in the purity or quality)
  • At Fairfax Brian and Clarissa clung to each other, exploiting what had happened to them, using my father's debasement as a varnish of cool they could coat themselves with by retelling throughout the school what had happened that night in the cornfield.
    Alice Sebold  --  The Lovely Bones
  • debasement = degradation (treatment as though of less value)
  • It forbids people to practise their religion, the young are brought up godless, the Church is opposed and its property appropriated, anyone who thinks differently is terrorized, the free human nature of the German people is debased—and they are turned into terrified slaves.
    Wladyslaw Szpilman  --  The Pianist
  • debased = degraded (decreased)
  • And cannot the ruffian, the brutal, the debased, by slave law, own just as many slaves as the best and purest?
    Harriet Beecher Stowe  --  Uncle Tom's Cabin
  • Love of Milly abided, and that alone saved him from the utter debasement of hard life at a hard time.
    Zane Grey  --  The Thundering Herd
  • Can thus The image of God in Man, created once So goodly and erect, though faulty since, To such unsightly sufferings be debased Under inhuman pains?
    John Milton  --  Paradise Lost
  • Those books, both prose and verse, are consecrated to me by other associations; and I hate to have them debased and profaned in his mouth!
    Emily Bronte  --  Wuthering Heights
  • And yet, if my best reason for staying in peculiardom didn't want me anymore, I wouldn't debase myself by clinging to her.
    Ransom Riggs  --  Hollow City
  • 'Of some debased kind,' the other answered.
    Rudyard Kipling  --  Kim
  • But, even in her debased condition, she was not the person to hang about.
    Ford Madox Ford  --  The Good Soldier
  • But struggling with these better feelings was pride,—the vice of the lowest and most debased creatures no less than of the high and self-assured.
    Charles Dickens  --  Oliver Twist

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