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verb
Debase  v. t.  (past & past part. debased; pres. part. debasing)  To reduce from a higher to a lower state or grade of worth, dignity, purity, station, etc.; to degrade; to lower; to deteriorate; to abase; as, to debase the character by crime; to debase the mind by frivolity; to debase style by vulgar words. "The coin which was adulterated and debased." "It is a kind of taking God's name in vain to debase religion with such frivolous disputes." "And to debase the sons, exalts the sires."
Synonyms: To abase; degrade. See Abase.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Debase" Quotes from Famous Books



... objects displayed. To enter a room in the Louvre is an education in itself; but two steps on the filthy floor and under the iron forks, half scaffold, half gallows, of the big Norwood glass bazaar, debase mind and eye at once below possibility of looking at anything with profit all the day afterwards. I have just heard that a French picture dealer is to have charge of the picture gallery there, and that the whole ...
— On the Old Road, Vol. 2 (of 2) - A Collection of Miscellaneous Essays and Articles on Art and Literature • John Ruskin

... the stranger said, laying his hand gently on hers. "Debase not the dignity of man by imagining for one instant that there is anyone who would lend himself so readily to act the odious part you impute to ...
— Werwolves • Elliott O'Donnell

... threatened Germany, should be reduced, and that Wallenstein should be dismissed from the command. Others were equally determined that the crown of the empire should not descend to the son of Ferdinand. The Duke of Bavaria headed the party who would debase Wallenstein; and Cardinal Richelieu, with all the potent influences of intrigue and bribery at the command of the French court, was the soul of the party resolved to wrest the crown of the empire from the house of Austria. Richelieu sent two of the most accomplished diplomatists ...
— The Empire of Austria; Its Rise and Present Power • John S. C. Abbott

... causes of final corruption, we must examine those revolutions of state that remove, or withhold, the objects of every ingenious study or liberal pursuit; that deprive the citizen of occasions to act as the member of a public; that crush his spirit; that debase his sentiments, and ...
— An Essay on the History of Civil Society, Eighth Edition • Adam Ferguson, L.L.D.

... when tempting Richard Ashton at Charlotte, and he and John, jun. indulged so freely of its contents as soon to be considerably under its influence. Miss Sealy perceived the state they were in, and blaming the former for leading her brother to thus debase himself, gave him to understand his presence was extremely distasteful to her, and that he might consider their engagement broken off; for, no matter what influence might be brought to bear, she had made up her mind, ...
— From Wealth to Poverty • Austin Potter

... idea out of the marble for the present, and save the expense of workmen. And then she described to me the beautiful marbles she had seen abroad, where the artist's inspiration was so chastely uttered by the purity of his material, declaring that a subject which coloring would debase might be worthily treated by the chisel. And when I exclaimed, that Autumn, with her glowing palette, was as pure an artist as the old sculptor Winter, chiselling in unvaried white, she reminded me that Nature was infinite, handling all themes with equal power and ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 16, No. 97, November, 1865 • Various

... lived in that world of high hopes, just because she had the courage and the nobility to dare this great thing. Would it be right of him to bring her down from that pedestal whereon she stood so austere, and urge upon her that she should debase herself to be as any other woman,—even as Ethel Waterton? For the Watertons had brought him there ...
— The Woman Who Did • Grant Allen

... THEM ALONE, except to care for them when care is needed, and they may prove the greatest blessing you have ever known. They were given you that you might become a mother, the highest office to which God has ever called one of His creatures. Do not debase yourself and become lower than the beasts of the field. If this habit has fastened itself upon any one of our readers, stop it now. Do not allow yourself to think about it, give up all evil associations, seek pure companions, and go to your mother, older ...
— Searchlights on Health: Light on Dark Corners • B.G. Jefferis

... the Carmine at Florence. For monastic duties he had no vocation, and the irregularities of his behaviour caused scandal even in that age of cynical indulgence. It can scarcely be doubted that the schism between his practice and profession served to debase and vulgarise a genius of fine imaginative quality, while the uncongenial work of decorating choirs and painting altar-pieces limed the wings of his swift spirit with the dulness of routine that savoured of hypocrisy. Bound ...
— Renaissance in Italy Vol. 3 - The Fine Arts • John Addington Symonds

... English jury, for all practical purposes, decided that Dorian Gray was not immoral, and so on. The verdicts may be accepted. Twelve men, picked from an alphabetical list, may not be judges of art, but they will not debase morality. ...
— G. K. Chesterton, A Critical Study • Julius West

... there is the lover, and there is his lofty worship going on, unspeakable, but revealed in the brightness of the eye, the majesty of the presence, and the high temper of the discourse. Men have been ungrateful and perverse; they have done what they could to counteract, to debase, this most heavenly influence of their life; but the laws of their Maker are too strong, the benignity of their Father is too patient and fervent, for their opposition to withstand: and true love continues, ...
— Deerbrook • Harriet Martineau

... state of the city was rendered worse by a proposal of Warwick to debase the currency yet more. As soon as the proposal got wind up went the price of provisions, in spite of every effort made by the lords of the council to keep it down. They sent for the mayor (Sir Andrew Judd) to attend them ...
— London and the Kingdom - Volume I • Reginald R. Sharpe

... an authentic fact, that a bookseller to the Czar of Russia one Klostermann, actually sold books at fifty to one hundred roubles by the yard, according to the binding. The force of folly could no farther go, to debase the aims and degrade the intellect ...
— A Book for All Readers • Ainsworth Rand Spofford

... still buried in heathen ignorance. But extensive as was this so-called religious instruction, he did not see how the teaching of the slave to be obedient to his master could exert much power in raising one to the divinity of man. How slavery which tends to debase the mind of the bondman could prepare it for spiritual truth, or how he could comprehend the essential principles of love on hearing it from the lips of his selfish and unjust owner, were questions ...
— The Education Of The Negro Prior To 1861 • Carter Godwin Woodson

... bespatter, debase, deprave, soil, stain, taint, besmear, contaminate, defile, pollute, ...
— English Synonyms and Antonyms - With Notes on the Correct Use of Prepositions • James Champlin Fernald

... will play the devil with thee indeed! But that I mean to hear thee howl on the rack, I would debase this sword, and lay thee prostrate At this thy paramour's feet; then drag her forth 310 Stained with adulterous blood, and— —mark you, traitress! Strumpeted first, then turned adrift to beggary! ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Vol I and II • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... into the very arteries of our national life; who have sought to bring the authority and good name of our Government into contempt, to destroy our industries wherever they thought it effective for their vindictive purposes to strike at them, and to debase our politics to the uses of foreign intrigue. Their number is not great as compared with the whole number of those sturdy hosts by which our nation has been enriched in recent generations out of virile foreign ...
— Complete State of the Union Addresses from 1790 to the Present • Various

... enervating their manhood by every artifice in their power. Thus they have successfully achieved the introduction into Germany of that most degraded form of self-worship—Chauvinism. They poison her morality by wisely organizing that every conscience, every conviction, should have its price. They debase her ideals by decreeing that henceforth the officer is to be the national patron saint to whom the people are to offer up their devotion and worship. The press, literature, art, lecturing-room—all preach the same gospel, that the highest product of humanity ...
— The Malady of the Century • Max Nordau

... part which the clergy of the Anglican church have acted in the late excitement. Catholics have been their principal theological opponents, and we have carried on our controversies with them temperately, and with every personal consideration. We have had no recourse to popular arts to debase them; we have never attempted, even when the current of public opinion has set against them, to turn it to advantage, by joining in any outcry. They are not our members who yearly call for returns of sinecures or episcopal incomes; they ...
— Pius IX. And His Time • The Rev. AEneas MacDonell

... Sancho," answered Don Quixote, "and he will do what is best for her, but do thou have a care not to debase thy mind so low as to content thyself with ...
— Wit and Wisdom of Don Quixote • Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

... footstool. He was a piece of good advice; he was himself the instance that pointed and adorned his various talk. Nor could a young man have found elsewhere a place so set apart from envy, fear, discontent, or any of the passions that debase; a life so honest and composed; a soul like an ancient violin, so subdued to harmony, responding to a touch in music—as in that dining-room, with Mr. Hunter chatting at the eleventh hour, under the shadow of eternity, ...
— Essays of Robert Louis Stevenson • Robert Louis Stevenson

... circuit, with apprehensions that you would be assassinated, or at least subjected to some gross outrage, and cannot express my admiration of the serene heroism with which you went to your post of duty, determined not to debase the dignity of your exalted position by wearing arms for your defense, notwithstanding you were fully conscious of the danger which menaced you. It didn't surprise me, however; for I knew the stuff you were made of had been tested ...
— Personal Reminiscences of Early Days in California with Other Sketches; To Which Is Added the Story of His Attempted Assassination by a Former Associate on the Supreme Bench of the State • Stephen Field; George C. Gorham

... smoke from their mouth and nostrils, and as it curls around their head, ascending towards heaven, they present it as an offering to appease the anger of the Great Spirit. A mutual influence has resulted from our intercourse with the Indian. We have taught him how to debase himself below the brute, and destroy the quiet of savage life by the use of our whiskey; and he, in return, has taught us to destroy our constitutions, and interrupt the harmony of civilized society, by the habitual use of his ...
— A Dissertation on the Medical Properties and Injurious Effects of the Habitual Use of Tobacco • A. McAllister

... fruits, ocean rolls in its magnificence, the heavens display their constellated canopy, and the grand animated spectacle of nature rises revealed before him, its varieties regulated, and its mysteries resolved! The phenomena which bewilder, the prejudices which debase, the superstitions which ...
— The American Union Speaker • John D. Philbrick

... replied Mrs. Birtwell, in a voice out of which she could hardly keep the contempt she felt for her husband's weak rejoinder, "don't confuse the head, dethrone the reason, brutalize, debase and ruin men in soul and body as do wine and brandy. The difference lies there, and all men see and feel it, make what excuses they will for self-indulgence and deference to custom. The curse of drink is too widely felt. There is scarcely ...
— Danger - or Wounded in the House of a Friend • T. S. Arthur

... truths of Christianity, as opposed to the false teaching of Rome. He showed how the one must, when received, elevate and ennoble the human mind; while the other was calculated in every way to lower and debase it. He then, in eloquent language, called upon his countrymen to unite in overthrowing that fearful system, supported by the Pope and his cardinals, to which King Philip had completely subjected himself. "He who is a slave to such a system is unfit to rule his fellow-men!" he exclaimed. ...
— The Golden Grasshopper - A story of the days of Sir Thomas Gresham • W.H.G. Kingston

... in God, the Israel, which by its sins had brought down the punishment of His repudiation of being its father (i. 9), had found mercy, would no longer feel temptation to turn to Assyria for help, nor to seek protection from Egypt's cavalry, nor to debase their manhood by calling stocks and stones, the work of their own hands, their gods. What earthly sweetness will tempt, or what earthly danger will affright, the heart that is feeling the bliss of union with God? Would Judas's thirty pieces of silver attract the disciple ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Ezekiel, Daniel, and the Minor Prophets. St Matthew Chapters I to VIII • Alexander Maclaren

... was meet." Every opportunity is here offered for this vile practice. They are far removed from the light and even from the influences of their officers, and in the darkness and silence old and hardened criminals debase and mistreat themselves and sometimes the younger ones that are associated with them in their work. These cases of self-abuse and sodomy are of daily occurrence, and, although the officials of the prison take every precaution to prevent such evil practices, ...
— The Twin Hells • John N. Reynolds

... to realize the power of my life. I feel ashamed and alarmed when I think of the grievous wrongs I may have done for greed. May I have delight in the struggles I have made for the ways of righteousness. Make me careful to avoid the things that debase life. May I aspire for ...
— Leaves of Life - For Daily Inspiration • Margaret Bird Steinmetz

... punishment should be inflicted, and the reason I am against it is this: I am opposed to any punishment that cannot be inflicted by a gentleman. I am opposed to any punishment the infliction of which tends to harden and debase the man who inflicts it. I am for no laws that have to be carried out by ...
— The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll, Volume VIII. - Interviews • Robert Green Ingersoll

... in your visits and letters; the more the better, so that you keep it a sentiment, not debase it by animal passion. It is still establishing its rootlets, like young corn, instead of growing. Allow no amatory excitement, no frenzied, delirious intoxication with it; for its violence, like every other, ...
— Social Life - or, The Manners and Customs of Polite Society • Maud C. Cooke

... and apathy, even females, of respectable appearance and dress, will be gazing upon these subjects; and now that the art of lithography is become fashionable, the print-shops of Paris will be deluged with an inundation of these odious representations, which threaten equally to debase the art and to corrupt morals. This cheap and wholesale circulation of what is mischievous, and of really most miserable execution, is much to be deplored. Even in the better part of art, lithography will have a ...
— A Bibliographical, Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour in France and Germany, Volume Two • Thomas Frognall Dibdin

... sacrifices familiar on a Japanese field of battle been made for his sake. Oyamada Takaiye gave his horse to the Nitta general and fell fighting in his stead, while Yoshisada rode away. At first sight these sacrifices seem to debase the saved as much as they exalt the saver. But, according to Japanese ethics, an institution was always more precious than the person of its representative, and a principle than the life of its exponent. Men sacrificed ...
— A History of the Japanese People - From the Earliest Times to the End of the Meiji Era • Frank Brinkley and Dairoku Kikuchi

... missionaries converted multitudes in Nepaul, Thibet, Birmah, Ceylon, China, Siam, Japan; and in all these states its monasteries are to-day the chief sources of knowledge and centres of instruction to the people. It is idle to class such a religion as this with the superstitions which debase mankind. Its power lay in the strength of conviction which inspired its teachers; and that, again, must have come from the sight of truth, ...
— Ten Great Religions - An Essay in Comparative Theology • James Freeman Clarke

... grudge That I your instrument debase: By worse performers still we judge, And give that ...
— The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson - Volume 1 • Robert Louis Stevenson

... man myself, though I have no interest in this affair. My turn may come later. Will come later, I suppose. Isaac D. Worthington has a very little heart or soul or mercy himself; but the corporation which he means to set up will have none at all. It will grind the people and debase them and clog their progress a hundred times more than Jethro Bass has done. Mark my words, Carry. I'm running ahead of the times a little, but I can see it all as clearly as ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... done in a state of nudity, without anything like sandals or mocassins to protect his feet from the flint stones and sharp shells, and under the burning rays of an intolerable sun. Blood marked his footsteps. The king met him and compelled him to debase himself by the most abject ceremonies of slavery. He was now overcome, and with a dogged indifference was ready to die. He could not, he would not walk back; his feet were lacerated, swollen, and almost in a state of putrefaction. ...
— The Call Of The South - 1908 • Louis Becke

... Now the bosom is no longer cheerful and placid; and if the countenance preserve its exterior character, this is no longer the honest expression of the heart. Prosperity and luxury, gradually extinguishing sympathy, and puffing up with pride, harden and debase the soul. In other instances, shame secretly clouds, and remorse begins to sting, and suspicion to corrode, and jealousy and envy to embitter. Disappointed hopes, unsuccessful competitions, and frustrated pursuits, sour and irritate the temper. ...
— A Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians, in the Middle and Higher Classes in this Country, Contrasted with Real Christianity. • William Wilberforce

... contradictory principles, appears nowhere in a more clear light. If trade continued under restraint, their territorial revenues must suffer by checking the general prosperity of the country: if they set it free, means were taken to raise the price and debase the quality of the goods; and this again fell upon the revenues, out of which the payment for the goods was to arise. The observations of the Company on that occasion are just and sagacious; and they will not permit the least doubt concerning ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. VIII. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... and visible sign was the creation of the Irish Home Rule party, which constituted itself separate and distinct from the rest of the House of Commons, the standard of which the new gang was to debase. Nor did they rest content until it became the scene of faction fights and organised obstruction in combination with the flagrant violation of all decencies ...
— The Reminiscences of an Irish Land Agent • S.M. Hussey

... experimental investigation, yet in its progress he had already uncivilized a man whose eyes were beginning dimly to see the truth, had poisoned his mind with lies, and had hurled him into depths of Plutonian ignorance inconceivably more profound than his original estate; and now he was about to debase another fellow-creature of his own race, to tamper with his manhood, to confuse his identity, to render him among his own kindred and people perhaps tabooed, ostracised, despised—perhaps an object of pity. If he should succeed? Surely he had not ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 11, - No. 22, January, 1873 • Various

... legislation of Heaven and to the laws of Scotland, which alike demand justice and mercy from all, will live the fathers of their country, teaching her brave sons that the only homage which does not debase a man, is that which he pays ...
— The Scottish Chiefs • Miss Jane Porter

... Duke of Wellington proudly declared that truth was the characteristic of an English officer, that when he was bound by a parole he would not break his word; for the gentleman scorns to lie, in word or deed; and is ready to brave all consequences rather than debase himself ...
— The True Citizen, How To Become One • W. F. Markwick, D. D. and W. A. Smith, A. B.

... life of shame. For the dancing-girls are the professional prostitutes of India. There are a host of these women (twelve thousand in South India alone) who, without their own consent, and in the sacred name of religion, have been handed over to this life of shame, to corrupt and debase the youth of the land. Their life is a loud cry against their mother-faith, which systematically devotes them to destruction of soul and body. Some educated men of the land denounce this as an evil which should be stopped. But the leaders of the faith turn a deaf ear ...
— India, Its Life and Thought • John P. Jones

... Hell, insatiate power, Destroyer of the human race, Whose iron scourge and maddening hour Exalt the bad, the good debase: Thy mystic force, despotic sway, Courage and innocence dismay, And patriot monarchs vainly groan With pangs unfelt before, ...
— History of English Humour, Vol. 2 (of 2) • Alfred Guy Kingan L'Estrange

... in an argument, whose scope and object is to mortify the self-love of the expected proselyte? I ask further, when such attempts have been made, whether they have not failed of success? The indignant heart repels the conviction that is believed to debase it.... Let me expostulate with gentlemen to admit, if it be only by way of supposition, and for a moment, that it is barely possible they have yielded too suddenly to their own alarms for the powers of this house; that the addresses which have been made with ...
— Washington and the American Republic, Vol. 3. • Benson J. Lossing

... which he desired me to remember, not only that our former relationship of tutor and pupil was at an end, but that friendship for his person was incompatible with the respect due to his superior station, I can neither so far degrade the dignity of letters, nor, above all, so meanly debase the sanctity of my divine profession, as any longer to remain beneath your hospitable roof,—a guest not only unwelcome to, but insulted by, your relation and apparent heir. Suffer me to offer you my gratitude for the favours you ...
— Devereux, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... consumed me, zeal Has brought me for my lady's weal, Thy grief, my Queen, is grief to me: Thy gain my greatest gain would be. Proud daughter of a princely line, The rights of consort queen are thine. How art thou, born of royal race, Blind to the crimes that kings debase? Thy lord is gracious, to deceive, And flatters, but thy soul to grieve, While thy pure heart that thinks no sin Knows not the snares that hem thee in. Thy husband's lips on thee bestow Soft soothing ...
— The Ramayana • VALMIKI

... father's violin, Felix. See to it that you never make your music the servant of the power of evil—never debase it to unworthy ends. For your responsibility is as your gift, and God will exact the accounting of it from you. Speak to the world in your own tongue through it, with truth and sincerity; and all I have hoped for you will ...
— Chronicles of Avonlea • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... teaching of song and dance and beauty. In short, the dance may bring both treacherous perils and wonderful gifts to our community. It depends upon us whether we reenforce the dangerous elements of the dance, or the beneficial ones. It will depend on ourselves whether the dance will debase the nation, as it has so often done in the history of civilization, or whether it will help to lead it to new heights of beauty and harmony, as it has not seldom done before. Our social conscience must be wide awake; it will not be a blind fate which will decide when ...
— Psychology and Social Sanity • Hugo Muensterberg

... electrician. What a spectacle, on some clear, dark nightfall, from the edge of Hampstead Hill, when in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, the design of the monstrous city flashes into vision—a glittering hieroglyph many square miles in extent; and when, to borrow and debase an image, all the evening street-lamps burst together into song! Such is the spectacle of the future, preluded the other day by the experiment in Pall Mall. Star-rise by electricity, the most romantic flight of civilisation; the compensatory benefit ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition - Vol. 2 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... printed charms and incantations against Satan and his host and against every kind of misfortune are publicly sold in the shops and are in great demand; such are the results of Popery, a delusion which more than any other has tended to debase and brutalise the ...
— Letters of George Borrow - to the British and Foreign Bible Society • George Borrow

... that they are not of Judah and Jerusalem, but of Sodom and Egypt. More than this, these strange children are enemies. They would break up the self-denying worship of the true God and rob the sanctuary of all its sacred garniture. They would corrupt the morals, debase the manners, and deprave the tastes of the young. "Their mouth speaketh vanity." They boast of their liberty. Their sinful indulgences are not restrained by law. They are free to do whatever the lust of the flesh and ...
— Life and Labors of Elder John Kline, the Martyr Missionary - Collated from his Diary by Benjamin Funk • John Kline

... faction in the legislative body. If the case should only be, that he MIGHT lay it down, unless continued by a new choice, and if he should be desirous of being continued, his wishes, conspiring with his fears, would tend still more powerfully to corrupt his integrity, or debase his fortitude. In either case, feebleness and irresolution must be the ...
— The Federalist Papers • Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison

... fine, my dear fellow. But your cure must begin somewhere, and put it that a thousand things which debase a population can never be reformed without this particular reform to begin with. Look what Stanley said the other day—that the House had been tinkering long enough at small questions of bribery, inquiring whether this or that voter has had a guinea when everybody knows ...
— Middlemarch • George Eliot

... former reign, Did not some grave examples yet remain, Who scorn a lad should teach his father skill, And, having once been wrong, will be so still. 130 He who, to seem more deep than you or I, Extols old bards, or Merlin's prophecy, Mistake him not; he envies, not admires, And to debase the sons, exalts the sires. Had ancient times conspired to disallow What then was new, what had been ancient now? Or what remain'd so worthy to be read By learned critics ...
— The Poetical Works Of Alexander Pope, Vol. 1 • Alexander Pope et al

... have it, feeling its presence and hearing its suggestions, and debase your life in any way, as you might have done, but for its presence. It is so very true that, in the life of the Spirit, looking up means lifting up. As the plant turns to the sun, it grows towards the sun; as it looks up to the light, it grows towards the ...
— Sermons at Rugby • John Percival

... of character of this self whose closer acquaintance we are making is this: It has an insatiable appetite. It grows hungrier by that on which it feeds. Its capacity is beyond the measuring line. If given free rein it will debase the holiest functions of the body, and degrade the highest powers of the mind to appease its gnawing, passion-bitten hunger. The noblest gifts, the purest emotions, the most sacred relationships, ...
— Quiet Talks on Power • S.D. Gordon

... some time, assures me that he could not find language to give me an idea of the gross debaucheries into which the lower order of people fall; and the promiscuous amours of the men of the middling class with their female servants debase both beyond measure, weakening every ...
— Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark • Mary Wollstonecraft

... weeks ago, would have rushed from the frank deeps of my heart, I should but imagine that you deceived yourself,—a girl's first fleeting delusive fancy,—nothing more! Were you my bride, Violante, I should but debase your bright nature by my own curse of distrust. At each word of tenderness, my heart would say, 'How long will this last; when will the deception come?' Your beauty, your gifts, would bring me but jealous ...
— My Novel, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... think of that!" said Penn. "Even such a birth could not debase the manhood of one ...
— Cudjo's Cave • J. T. Trowbridge

... teaches man to stand on his own feet, instills confidence in his reasoning powers, and forces him to conquer his environment. It teaches him not to subject himself and debase himself before mythical superhuman powers, for his reason is his power. The march from faith to reason is the march on which dwells the future hope of a ...
— The Necessity of Atheism • Dr. D.M. Brooks

... to take the ornaments of your excellent nature from the most base and vile things, neither understand you what injury you do your Creator. He would have mankind to excel all earthly things; you debase your dignity under every meanest creature. For if it be manifest that the good of everything is more precious than that whose good it is, since you judge the vilest things that can be to be your goods, you deject yourselves under them in your own estimation, which questionless ...
— The Theological Tractates and The Consolation of Philosophy • Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius

... him to proceed. She had esteemed him for so long, she cannot have him debase himself ...
— Quality Street - A Comedy • J. M. Barrie

... you ever hope, Hazlet, by centuries of preaching such as yours, to repair one millionth part of the damage done by your bad passions to a single fellow-creature? Such a hateful excuse is verily to carry the Urim with its oracular gems into the very sty of sensuality, and to debase your religion into 'a procuress to the lords of hell.' I have done; but let me say, Hazlet, that your self-justification is, if possible, more ...
— Julian Home • Dean Frederic W. Farrar

... public-house with male cronies; but the French workman usually sits at the cafe table with his wife, and on Sundays with his children, and takes his drink, whatever it may be, under the restraining eyes of those before whom a man is least ready to debase himself. ...
— Flowers of Freethought - (Second Series) • George W. Foote

... forbidding any moving picture film or reel to be exhibited in the State unless it had been examined by the State Superintendent of Instruction and certified by him as moral and instructive and not tending to debase or corrupt the morals.[917] A Minnesota statute, on the other hand, which forbade the sale in any city of the State of any beef, mutton, lamb, or pork which, had not been inspected on the hoof by local inspectors within twenty-four hours of slaughter, was held void.[918] Its "necessary operation," ...
— The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation • Edward Corwin

... dry up to your utmost the fountains of his feelings, the springs of his thought; you may yoke him to your labour, as an ox which liveth only to work, and worketh only to live; you may put him under any process which, without destroying his value as a slave, will debase and crush him as a rational being; you may do this, and the idea that he was born to be free will survive it all. It is allied to his hope of immortality; it is the ethereal part of his nature, which oppression cannot reach; ...
— Clotel; or, The President's Daughter • William Wells Brown

... been born and educated a Gentleman, and desire you will make the public sensible that the Christian Priesthood was never thought, in any Age or country, to debase the Man who is a member of it. Among the great services which your useful Papers daily do to Religion, this perhaps will not be the least: and it will lay a very ...
— An English Garner - Critical Essays & Literary Fragments • Edited by Professor Arber and Thomas Seccombe

... upset; prostration, subversion, precipitation. bow; courtesy, curtsy; genuflexion[obs3], genuflection, kowtow, obeisance, salaam. V. depress, lower, let down, take down, let down a peg, take down a peg; cast; let drop, let fall; sink, debase, bring low, abase, reduce, detrude[obs3], pitch, precipitate. overthrow, overturn, overset[obs3]; upset, subvert, prostate, level, fell; cast down, take down, throw down, fling down, dash down, pull down, cut down, knock down, hew down; raze, raze ...
— Roget's Thesaurus • Peter Mark Roget

... Arab. Usually shortened to "Hazar" (bird of a thousand tales the Thousand), generally called "'Andalib:" Galland has Bulbulhezer and some of his translators debase it to Bulbulkezer. See vol. v. 148, and the Hazar-dastan of Kazwini (De Sacy, Chrest. iii. 413). These rarities represent ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 3 • Richard F. Burton

... enjoyed, even in the brightest ages of Greece, and particularly at Athens, is one of the greatest singularities in the manners of any people. By what circumstances could that order of women, who debase at once their own sex and ours—in a country where the women were possessed of modesty, and the men of sentiment, arrive at distinction, and sometimes even at the highest degree of reputation and consequence? Several reasons may be assigned ...
— Sketches of the Fair Sex, in All Parts of the World • Anonymous

... gifted that he can save this Nation from bankruptcy. * * * No borrowing system can save us. The scheme of making greenbacks a legal tender, which enabled the debtor to cheat his creditor, thereby playing the old game of kingcraft, to debase the currency in order to aid the designs of despotism, may float us for a while amidst the fluctuations and bubbles of the day; but as no one possesses the power to repeal the Law of the Almighty, which decrees ...
— The Great Conspiracy, Complete • John Alexander Logan

... of the inspiration of my text by constant iteration of those garbled versions of it, from which so much of its nobler and finer elements are of hard necessity omitted in such a process as my reading of them. I persisted in this system for my own "soul's sake," and not to debase my work more than was inevitable, to the very considerable detriment ...
— Records of Later Life • Frances Anne Kemble

... myself indeed that, with respect to law, Turl's reasoning was much too severe and absolute. It was true I could not but own that law was inclined to debase and corrupt the morals of its practitioners; but surely there were exceptions, and if I pursued the law why should not I be one of them. If therefore the happiness at which I aimed were attainable by this means, I asserted to myself that I had heard no reasons which ...
— The Adventures of Hugh Trevor • Thomas Holcroft

... gold plank asserted: "We are unalterably opposed to every measure calculated to debase our currency or impair the credit of our country. We are, therefore, opposed to the free coinage of silver, except by international agreement with the leading commercial nations of the world, which we pledge ourselves to promote, and until such agreement can be obtained the ...
— The United States Since The Civil War • Charles Ramsdell Lingley

... which had taken hold upon her, and under its strength she was like a flower before the wind. She was not naturally of the heroic type either, as Corona d'Astrardente had been, and perhaps was still, capable of sacrifice for the ideal of duty, able to suffer torment rather than debase herself by yielding, strong to stem the torrent of a great passion until she had the right to abandon herself to its mighty flood. Faustina was a younger and a gentler woman, not knowing what she did from the moment her heart began to dictate her actions, willing, ...
— Sant' Ilario • F. Marion Crawford

... here briefly what the service will not do. It will not change the nature of men, but it will mollify it into much that is exalted, that is noble, and that is good. It almost universally raises individual character; but it can never debase it. The world are too apt to generalise—and this generalisation has done much disservice to the British navy. It forms a notion, creates a beau-ideal—a very absurd one truly—and then tries every character by it. ...
— Rattlin the Reefer • Edward Howard

... it to be done with tolling of bell and putting out of candle, because these solemnities had the greater effect on the laity. This statute is a sad proof how much too cheaply sacred things were held, and how habit was leading even the clergy to debase them by over-frequent and frivolous use of the ...
— Cameos from English History, from Rollo to Edward II • Charlotte Mary Yonge

... behalf of Briton's col'ny here. (Enter Quezox) Francos: But Bonset, list! 'Twere well to let them wait: To quick respond will lower dignity. The British mind doth breed a rev'rence deep For form and etiquette which swift cognition Might debase, and thus we on their mental Vision might mayhap but feeble impress Make as envoys by most noble Caesar sent To rule these Isles with gravity and state. Quezox: Most noble Sire! If I might but suggest, 'Twere well for Bonset to inquire each name And mental picture ...
— 'A Comedy of Errors' in Seven Acts • Spokeshave (AKA Old Fogy)

... the other end of it, it makes me frantic with rage; and then am I more implacably fixed and resolved than ever, to continue taking twenty minutes to telegraph you what I communicate in ten sends by the new way if I would so debase myself. And when I see a whole silent, solemn drawing-room full of idiots sitting with their hands on each other's foreheads "communing," I tug the white hairs from my head and curse till my asthma brings me the blessed relief of suffocation. ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... the lamp of naphtha in the alabaster vase, glowing with fragrant odorous, but shining only through the purest vessels. No; it is not love, and it is not friendship, that Arbaces feels for Ione. Give it no name—earth has no name for it—it is not of earth—why debase it with earthly ...
— The Last Days of Pompeii • Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

... horrors of slavery, without having become more degraded in the scale of humanity than the slaves of African descent. Nothing has been left undone to cripple their intellects, darken their minds, debase their moral nature, obliterate all traces of their relationship to mankind; and yet how wonderfully they have sustained the mighty load of a most frightful bondage, under which they have been groaning for centuries! To illustrate the effect of slavery on the ...
— The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass - An American Slave • Frederick Douglass

... beginning of the last century, Mrs. Manley, systematically employed fiction as a cover for personal libel; but such an abuse of art as this could be practiced or countenanced only by the vile. Novelists, however, often debase fiction by obtruding their personal vanities, favouritisms, fanaticisms and antipathies. We had, the other day, a novel, the author of which introduced himself almost by name as a heroic character, with a description of his own personal appearance, residence, and habits ...
— Lectures and Essays • Goldwin Smith

... nightmare of States from Asia admitted to the American Union. For that relief, at least, we must thank the uprising of the Tagals. It was a Continental Union of independent sovereign States our fathers planned. Whoever proposes to debase it with admixtures of States made up from the islands of the sea, in any archipelago, East or West, is a bad friend to the Republic. We may guide, protect, elevate them, and even teach them some day to stand ...
— Problems of Expansion - As Considered In Papers and Addresses • Whitelaw Reid

... idea of Composite Unity; one involving many, and many collapsed into one. Some such enigma was probable in Reason's guess at the nature of his God. It is the Christian way; and one entirely unobjectionable: because it is the only insuperable difficulty as to His Nature which does not debase the notion of Divinity. But there are ...
— The Complete Prose Works of Martin Farquhar Tupper • Martin Farquhar Tupper

... nowhere yet been adequately tried, of developing latent capacities for progress in races that have raised themselves above the level of absolute savagery without attaining to those ideals which, never wholly realized, are essential to continuous improvement. It has been found easy to enslave, to debase, to exterminate races in this condition, while the ill success of efforts to enlighten and elevate them has led to the inference that this is impracticable. The trial, however, will not have been made till the counteracting influences have ceased to act, or at least to predominate, and time ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, September, 1885 • Various

... it aright. It consists of People whose Reputation (especially the Officers) has been industriously diminished, and their Persons, as well as their Employment, rendred contemptible on purpose to enhance the Value of those that serve for Pay; insomuch that few Gentlemen of Quality will now a-days debase themselves so much, as to accept of a Company, or a Regiment in the Militia. But for all this, I can never be persuaded that a Red Coat, and Three Pence a Day, infuses more Courage into the poor Swaggering Idler, than the ...
— Franco-Gallia • Francis Hotoman

... and hunger, and poverty, and want, that we are under a cursed necessity of studying selfishness, in order that we may EXIST! Still there are, in every age, a few souls, that all the wants and woes of life cannot debase to selfishness, or even to the necessary alloy of caution and prudence. If ever I am in danger of vanity, it is when I contemplate myself on this side of my disposition and character. God knows ...
— The Complete Works of Robert Burns: Containing his Poems, Songs, and Correspondence. • Robert Burns and Allan Cunningham

... sacredness of law. He had insisted on the higher education of the people; and so had fairly won the honors of the Academy, in those early days when men believed that there were Moral Sciences, and did not debase the name of Science by confining it to the mere chaff of things weighed and measured. His studies of History are remembered, for some special cause, in almost every Historical Society in the land. He ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 89, March, 1865 • Various

... does not seek inspiration in order to debase himself and lie. One writer has been imprisoned for having put a very obvious truth into verse. They may have called me a poet but they sha'n't call ...
— The Social Cancer - A Complete English Version of Noli Me Tangere • Jose Rizal

... in its flight debase Whate'er it finds? our fathers' race, More deeply versed in ill Than were their sires, hath born us yet More wicked, destined to beget A race more ...
— Horace • William Tuckwell

... particular, without encroaching on his fellows, and detracting from them or enriching themselves with the spoils of others. But to come to particulars: Heinsius and Dacier are the most principal of those who raise Horace above Juvenal and Persius. Scaliger the father, Rigaltius, and many others debase Horace that they may set up Juvenal; and Casaubon, who is almost single, throws dirt on Juvenal and Horace that he may exalt Persius, whom he understood particularly well, and better than any of his former commentators, even Stelluti, who succeeded ...
— Discourses on Satire and Epic Poetry • John Dryden

... than drink," he said, as if communing with himself. "There are drugs that enslave and debase a man; drugs that lead him into the gardens of pleasure and raise him to the heights of delight, so that he believes himself to be a superman, and," he almost groaned, "lower him to the ...
— Grey Town - An Australian Story • Gerald Baldwin

... what is His due. It is also to dishonor ourselves, to violate our own noblest instincts. No other act of which we as men are capable is so dignified or so worthy of ourselves. Not to worship is to debase ourselves. ...
— The Worship of the Church - and The Beauty of Holiness • Jacob A. Regester

... Burley threw off a rude but spirited translation of that divine lyric. "O materialist!" cried the boy, with his bright eyes suffused. "Schiller calls on the gods to take him to their heaven with them; and you would debase the gods to ...
— My Novel, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... can only repeat that the English officers and the English soldiers have shown in this war that the profession of arms does not debase, but rather ...
— The War in South Africa - Its Cause and Conduct • Arthur Conan Doyle

... alive. The bread-winner of the family may demand more and more coppery shillings, or assignats, or greenbacks for his day's work, and so get the needful quantum of food; but let that moral currency be emptied of its value—let a greedy buffoonery debase all historic beauty, majesty, and pathos, and the more you heap up the desecrated symbols the greater will be the lack of the ennobling emotions which subdue the tyranny of suffering, and make ambition one with ...
— Impressions of Theophrastus Such • George Eliot

... something a good deal worse than we are—something, above all, to stir the hearty laugh, which proves its being good for us by the very help it gives to digestion—is required at frequent intervals—all free from what tends to debase and corrupt. Such is the theory of Amusement; and nothing which does not fulfil that theory will be effective for its ends. Here is a perquisition somewhat more startling than that of Xerxes, putting a prize ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 449 - Volume 18, New Series, August 7, 1852 • Various

... him guilty of such an atrocity. But as his silence is indicative of guilt, the horrible nature of his act comes before us with great force, and we shudder to think that any one wearing the form of humanity could so far debase the mind as to turn a helpless woman and dying child from a shelter because she had not the means of paying her debt. In so doing, Mr. Elder has displayed the spirit of the extortioner, and must feel all the stings of conscience which haunt ...
— The Trials of the Soldier's Wife - A Tale of the Second American Revolution • Alex St. Clair Abrams

... and having invited the merchants of Rotterdam to join with them in this Deputation, the latter have answered, that with men capable of acting so ruffianlike, they would rather let them keep all that they had robbed, than debase themselves by courting the robbers. This noble answer would be still more so, if Rotterdam had lost as much at St Eustatia as Amsterdam; there being, as for ...
— The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, Vol. IX • Various

... sometimes captivate the mind of their master to such an extent that they obtain from him very important favours in behalf of the persons they protect, and the consequence is that they are often courted by the highest families. Where is the man who will not debase himself if he be in want? Does not Agamemnon say, in Homer, that in such a case man must necessarily be guilty of meanness? And Agamemnon and Homer lived long before our time! It evidently proves that men are at all times moved by ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... agreeable as a party whose habits, education, and sympathies, being on a level, render intercourse a matter of mutual pleasure: what I would show is, that in this mingling of classes, which is inevitable in travelling here, there is nothing to disgust or debase man or woman, however exclusive; for it would really be impossible to feed a like multitude, of any rank or country, with slighter breaches of decency or decorum, or throw persons so wholly dissimilar together with less personal inconvenience either ...
— Impressions of America - During the years 1833, 1834 and 1835. In Two Volumes, Volume I. • Tyrone Power

... in both. If sometimes, with a foolish spirit of innovation, one felt inclined to ask what purpose in either case these heroic mantles subserved, and whether, in fact, they could not be dispensed with to advantage, he was soon made to know that his inquiry indicated ignorance, and a desire to debase in the one case Man, in the ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IV, No. 22, Aug., 1859 • Various

... found the slender, dark, beautiful Spaniard. Was this because of her beauty? he wondered. He thought not altogether. Mercedes was a woman. She represented something in life that men of all races for thousands of years had loved to see and own, to revere and debase, to ...
— Desert Gold • Zane Grey

... however, very remarkable, that a people who have for more than two hundred years been subjected, as they have, to a system of bondage so well calculated, as it would seem, to utterly quench the fire of musical genius, and to debase the mind generally, should yet have originated and practised continually certain forms of melody which those skilled in the science consider the very soul of music. Moreover, one is made to wonder how a race subjected to such cruelties could have had ...
— Music and Some Highly Musical People • James M. Trotter

... my Bottle and my Friend, Took prudent care that neither were abus'd, But with due Moderation both I us'd. And in one sober Pint found more delight, Then the insatiate Sot that swills all Night; Ne'er drown my Senses, or my Soul debase. Or drink beyond the relish of my blass For in Excess good Heav'ns design is Crost, In all Extreams the true Enjoyments lost, Wine chears the Heart, and elevates the Soul, But if we surfeit with too large a Bowl, ...
— The Pleasures of a Single Life, or, The Miseries Of Matrimony • Anonymous

... concealing my contempt for you under a pretence of kindness? Could any consideration for my own reputation so little influence me? Can you think so, and dare to tell it me? Know that this heart cannot debase itself; that nothing under Heaven can compel it to act thus: if it has committed the great error of showing you some kindness, of which you were not worthy, know that in spite of your power, it ...
— Don Garcia of Navarre • Moliere

... as a fallen conqueror is; guilty to such an extent that he ceased to be a cheat, as a conqueror ceases to be a murderer. He came to England. My father had an original nobility of nature; and his life had not been such as to debase it, but rather such as to cherish and heighten that self-esteem which at least keeps the possessor of it from many meaner vices. He took nothing with him; nothing beyond the bare means of flight, with the world before him, although thousands of gold would not have been ...
— Sketches and Studies • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... quality of jealousy, whether being wife of a man and mother of his children does not almost necessarily give a woman a feeling of exclusive possession in him, and whether, therefore, if we are earnest in our determination not to debase her, our last shred of polygamy does not vanish. From first to last, of course, it has been assumed that a prolific polygamy alone can be intended, for long before we have plumbed the bottom of the human heart we shall know enough to imagine what the ugly and pointless consequences ...
— Mankind in the Making • H. G. Wells

... how abundant a source they are of misapprehension, owing to the curiosity that will not be content to have the gold in the ore, but must needs vainly strive to refine it out, we can well understand how mythology tends to corrupt and debase religion if it be not continually watched and weeded; and how, being, from the nature of the case, ever to the front, ever on men's lips and mingling with their lives, it should seem to the outsider to be not the imperfect garment ...
— The Faith of the Millions (2nd series) • George Tyrrell

... national conscience has at length been touched regarding women, and we venture to hope that in proportion as women have been used to debase industrial standards, so in like degree as the nation insists upon better treatment being accorded her, the results may so react upon the whole field of industry that men too may be sharers in ...
— The Trade Union Woman • Alice Henry

... own power to teach new things to the one who hath erred, for every one who errs hath but missed the appointed path and wandered away. Reflect, and thou wilt discover that no one of these with whom thou art annoyed hath done aught to debase thy mind, and that is the only real evil that ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 3 • Various

... us so That for us is no healing? Hoped we for peace—no good! For a season of healing—lo panic! We acknowledge, O Lord, our wickedness, 20 The guilt of our fathers; to Thee have we sinned. For the sake of Thy Name, do not spurn us, 21 Debase not the Throne of Thy Glory, Remember, break not Thy Covenant with us! 'Mongst the bubbles of the nations are makers of rain, 22 Or do the heavens give the showers? Art Thou not He for whom we must wait? Yea, ...
— Jeremiah • George Adam Smith



Words linked to "Debase" :   debaser, infect, bastardise, sophisticate, lead off, adulterate, sensualise, doctor up, load, demoralise, change, demoralize, sensualize, poison, alloy, misdirect, profane, stretch, carnalise, water down, deprave, suborn, spoil, alter, carnalize



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