What does degrade mean?

Definitions for degrade
dɪˈgreɪd or, for 3 , di-de·grade

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word degrade.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. degradeverb

    reduce the level of land, as by erosion

  2. take down, degrade, disgrace, demean, put downverb

    reduce in worth or character, usually verbally

    "She tends to put down younger women colleagues"; "His critics took him down after the lecture"

  3. degrade, cheapenverb

    lower the grade of something; reduce its worth


  1. degradeverb

    To lower in value or social position.

    Fred degrades himself by his behaviour.

  2. degradeverb

    To reduce in quality or purity.

    The DNA sample has degraded.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To DEGRADEverb

    Etymology: degrader, French.

    He should
    Be quite degraded, like a hedgeborn swain,
    That doth presume to boast of gentle blood. William Shakespeare, Hen. VI.

    Nor shalt thou, by descending to assume
    Man’s nature, lessen or degrade thine own. John Milton, Par. Lost.

    All higher knowledge in her presence falls
    Degraded. John Milton, Paradise Lost, b. viii. i. 551.


  1. degrade

    To degrade is to lower in quality, status, or character; or to cause something to break down or deteriorate over time. This term could refer to physical objects, environments, or abstract concepts like a person's reputation or respect. Degrade also refers to the process by which natural substances, chemicals, or compounds are broken down or decomposed, often by natural biological activity.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Degradeverb

    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

  2. Degradeverb

    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

  3. Degradeverb

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

  4. Degradeverb

    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

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Degrade

    de-grād′, v.t. to lower in grade or rank: to deprive of office or dignity: to lower in character, value, or position: to disgrace.—n. Degradā′tion, disgrace: degeneration: abortive structural development: a lowering in dignity.—p.adjs. Degrad′ed, reduced in rank: base: low: (her.) placed on steps; Degrad′ing, debasing: disgraceful. [Fr. dégrader—L. de, down, and gradus, a step. See Grade.]

How to pronounce degrade?

How to say degrade in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of degrade in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of degrade in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of degrade in a Sentence

  1. Sam Abuelsamid:

    The big question is, when you actually start to use those trucks as they're intended to be used, how much is that going to degrade the range in the truck ?

  2. Ken Martin:

    A person familiar with the investigation confirmed to The Associated Press on Wednesday the boy was decapitated. Paul Oberhauser told local television station KCTV Paul Oberhauser shoulder restraint busted loose on Paul Oberhauser Verruckt raft July 26. The Nebraska man said The Nebraska man just held on, and a video shot by The Nebraska man wife shows the strap loose at the ride's end. Paul Oberhauser said Paul Oberhauser reported the matter to park workers. Kenneth Conrad, Kenneth Conrad, told WDAF-TV that during Kenneth Conrad trip down the waterslide last year with a friend, the friend's shoulder strap came completely off. Conrad's wife snapped a photo at the end of the ride showing the strap missing, and Kenneth Conrad didn't file a complaint with the park. The park's spokeswoman didn't return messages Tuesday from The Associated Press seeking comment on the claims. In a statement, she said a limited portion of the park will reopen at midday Wednesday. Riders sit in multi-person rafts that begin with the steep drop, followed by a surge up a second hill before a 50-foot descent to a finishing pool. Along the way, riders clutch ropes along the inside of the raft. In early tests, rafts carrying sandbags flew off the slide, prompting engineers to tear down half of the ride and reconfigure some angles. A promotional video about building the slide includes footage of two men riding a raft down a half-size test model and going slightly airborne as it crests the top of the first big hill. Caleb Schwab was in a raft with two adults who were not related to Caleb Schwab when Caleb Schwab was killed on the slide, certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s tallest. The other two were treated for facial injuries. Police were investigating the death as a criminal case although police spokesman Cameron Morgan said Tuesday that designation did not mean they suspect foul play. Jon Rust, a professor of textile engineering at North Carolina State University, said the material used on the straps, commonly called hook and loop, isn't designed to keep a person in the seat. It also can get old and degrade with use. It's got to be used in a safe manner, and that doesn't include stopping someone's fall or preventing someone's ejection, Jon Rust said. Ken Martin, Ken Martin, questioned whether the straps were appropriate for what Ken Martin called nothing more than a roller coaster with water. Although Ken Martin has not seen or ridden Verruckt, Martin said a more solid restraint system that fits over the body - similar to those used in roller coasters - may have been better. I think we have a serious issue with the restraint system. Period.

  3. State John Kerry:

    President Obama, at the very beginning, said we're going to degrade and defeat ISIL. We're going to stabilize the countries in the region -- Jordan, Lebanon, work with Turkey -- and we are going to seek a political settlement, that is exactly the strategy today and it is working -- to a degree -- not as fast as we would like, perhaps, but we are making gains.


    I have never consciously boasted myself but from hereon I make a point not to even unconsciously undermine or degrade myself!

  5. David Gergen:

    Inevitably, people are asking: Why the hell didn't Obama do what Hollande and Putin are doing way back when he declared our intention to degrade and defeat ISIS?

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for degrade

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for degrade »


Find a translation for the degrade definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"degrade." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 5 Mar. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/degrade>.

Discuss these degrade definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for degrade? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    expressing yourself readily, clearly, effectively
    • A. unsealed
    • B. eloquent
    • C. contiguous
    • D. elusive

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for degrade: