Meaning of debase


To debase something is to make it corrupt or impure. If your lemonade stand sells “pure lemonade,” you’d insist on using real lemons instead of a mix; using a mix would debase your product.

Debase is often used in the context of two things: coins and people. To debase a coin is to replace some of the precious metal in the coin with metal of lesser value. To debase a person is to corrupt them, often by driving them to perform an immoral act like (gasp!) using the lemonade mix. Just promise us you won’t do it.

Definitions of debase
  1. verb

    corrupt, debase, or make impure by adding a foreign or inferior substance; often by replacing valuable ingredients with inferior ones


    adulterate, dilute, load, stretch

    extend, stretch

    increase in quantity or bulk by adding a cheaper substance
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    water down

    thin by adding water to
    doctor, doctor up, sophisticate

    alter and make impure, as with the intention to deceive
    type of:

    corrupt, spoil

    alter from the original

  2. verb

    lower in value by increasing the base-metal content



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    type of:


    lower the value or quality of

  3. verb

    corrupt morally or by intemperance or sensuality


    corrupt, debauch, demoralise, demoralize, deprave, misdirect, pervert, profane, subvert, vitiate

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    show 6 types…
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    carnalise, carnalize, sensualise, sensualize

    debase through carnal gratification

    corrupt with ideas or an ideology
    lead astray, lead off

    teach immoral behavior to

    spoil as if by poison
    bastardise, bastardize

    change something so that its value declines; for example, art forms

    incite to commit a crime or an evil deed
    type of:

    alter, change, modify

    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation

Word Family

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