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de·grade  (d-grd)
v. de·grad·ed, de·grad·ing, de·grades
1. To reduce in grade, rank, or status; demote.
2. To lower in dignity; dishonor or disgrace: a scandal that degraded the participants.
3. To lower in moral or intellectual character; debase.
4. To reduce in worth or value: degrade a currency.
5. To impair in physical structure or function.
6. Geology To lower or wear by erosion or weathering.
7. To cause (an organic compound) to undergo degradation.
1. To fall below a normal state; deteriorate.
2. To undergo degradation; decompose: a chemical that degrades rapidly.

[Middle English degraden, from Old French degrader, from Late Latin dgradre : Latin d-, de- + Latin gradus, step; see ghredh- in Indo-European roots.]

de·grader n.
Synonyms: degrade, abase, debase, demean2, humble, humiliate
These verbs mean to deprive of self-esteem or self-worth. Degrade implies reduction to a state of shame or disgrace: If I pitied you for crying ... you should spurn such pity.... Rise, and dont degrade yourself into an abject reptile! (Emily Brontë).
Abase refers principally to loss of rank or prestige: Meg pardoned him, and Mrs. Marchs grave face relaxed . . . when she heard him declare that he would ... abase himself like a worm before the injured damsel (Louisa May Alcott).
Debase implies reduction in quality or value: debasing the moral currency (George Eliot).
Demean suggests lowering in social position: It puts him where he can make the advances without demeaning himself (William Dean Howells).
Humble can refer to lowering in rank or, more often, to reducing in pride: dreamed of humbling his opponent.
To humiliate is to subject to loss of self-respect or dignity: a defeat that humiliated both army and nation. See Also Synonyms at demote.

degrade  /dgred/  v. [T] -graded, -grading, -grades 1 to lower in the opinion of others or in self-respect: Dont degrade yourself by accepting such a poor job offer. 2 to lower the quality or worth of s.t.: They degraded the value of the house by letting it fall into ruin. 3 to break down and lose effectiveness: Medicine (chemicals, materials, etc.) can degrade over time. -n. [U] degradation /dgrden/. degrade

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