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)
Origin: F. Degrader, LL. Degradare, fr. L. De- + gradus step, degree. See Grade, and cf. Degree.
(01 Mar 1998)
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