Degrade De*grade", v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Degraded}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Degrading}.] [F. d['e]grader, LL. degradare, fr. L. de- + gradus step, degree. See {Grade}, and cf. {Degree}.] 1. To reduce from a higher to a lower rank or degree; to lower in rank; to deprive of office or dignity; to strip of honors; as, to degrade a nobleman, or a general officer. [1913 Webster]

Prynne was sentenced by the Star Chamber Court to be degraded from the bar. --Palfrey. [1913 Webster]

2. To reduce in estimation, character, or reputation; to lessen the value of; to lower the physical, moral, or intellectual character of; to debase; to bring shame or contempt upon; to disgrace; as, vice degrades a man. [1913 Webster]

O miserable mankind, to what fall Degraded, to what wretched state reserved! --Milton. [1913 Webster]

Yet time ennobles or degrades each line. --Pope. [1913 Webster]

Her pride . . . struggled hard against this degrading passion. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

3. (Geol.) To reduce in altitude or magnitude, as hills and mountains; to wear down.

Syn: To abase; demean; lower; reduce. See {Abase}. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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