De*grade" (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Degraded; p. pr. & vb. n. Degrading.] [F. d'egrader, 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.

Prynne was sentenced by the Star Chamber Court to be degraded from the bar. Palfrey.

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.

O miserable mankind, to what fall Degraded, to what wretched state reserved! Milton.

He pride . . . struggled hard against this degrading passion. Macaulay.

3. Geol.

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

Syn. -- To abase; demean; lower; reduce. See Abase.

 

© Webster 1913.


De*grade", v. i. Biol.

To degenerate; to pass from a higher to a lower type of structure; as, a family of plants or animals degrades through this or that genus or group of genera.

 

© Webster 1913.

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