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Abase   Listen
verb
Abase  v. t.  (past & past part. abased; pres. part. abasing)  
1.
To lower or depress; to throw or cast down; as, to abase the eye. (Archaic) "Saying so, he abased his lance."
2.
To cast down or reduce low or lower, as in rank, office, condition in life, or estimation of worthiness; to depress; to humble; to degrade. "Whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased."
Synonyms: To Abase, Debase, Degrade. These words agree in the idea of bringing down from a higher to a lower state. Abase has reference to a bringing down in condition or feelings; as, to abase the proud, to abase one's self before God. Debase has reference to the bringing down of a thing in purity, or making it base. It is, therefore, always used in a bad sense, as, to debase the coin of the kingdom, to debase the mind by vicious indulgence, to debase one's style by coarse or vulgar expressions. Degrade has reference to a bringing down from some higher grade or from some standard. Thus, a priest is degraded from the clerical office. When used in a moral sense, it denotes a bringing down in character and just estimation; as, degraded by intemperance, a degrading employment, etc. "Art is degraded when it is regarded only as a trade."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Abase" Quotes from Famous Books



... hero, and a sort of villain, to this story: they are but instruments. Hero and villain are combined in the person of Edward, who was now here to abase himself before the old man and the family he had injured, and to kneel penitently at the feet of the woman who had just reason to spurn him. He had sold her as a slave is sold; he had seen her plunged into the blackest pit; yet was she miraculously kept pure for him, and if she could ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... him to himself, no doubt, he cried to his own soul piteously in the night watches. Proud man as he was, he could not so wholly abase himself even to his inmost self as to admit he had sinned without deep provocation. He thought it all over in his heart, just there, exactly as it all happened, that simple and natural tale of a common wrong, that terrible secret of a lifetime that he was ...
— What's Bred In the Bone • Grant Allen

... said the Prioress. 'What I speak of is that which beseems a daughter of St. Bennet, of an ancient and royal foundation! The saving of the soul is so much harder to the worldly life, specially to a queen, that it is no marvel if she has to abase herself more—even to the washing of lepers—than is needful to a vowed and ...
— Two Penniless Princesses • Charlotte M. Yonge

... head be circled with the same. Put forth thy hand, reach at the glorious Gold. What, is't too short? Ile lengthen it with mine, And hauing both together heau'd it vp, Wee'l both together lift our heads to heauen, And neuer more abase our sight so low, As to vouchsafe one ...
— The First Folio [35 Plays] • William Shakespeare

... atoms in the vast eternity of time, thus narrow the great universe in which they are permitted to exist; dwarfing it down, to the limit of their jaundiced vision, by the application of their miserable measuring tape of "fashionable" feet and "class" inches! How can they abase grand humanity to the level of their social organon, affecting to control it with their arbitrary absolutisms, their mammon deification, their mimic infallibility! What creeping, crawling, wretched insects we ...
— She and I, Volume 1 • John Conroy Hutcheson

... moths shall eat up all. Your chiming towers proud and tall He shall most utterly abase, And set a desert ...
— Robert Louis Stevenson, an Elegy; And Other Poems • Richard Le Gallienne

... never disposed to think himself obliged to abase himself in return for service rendered, nor—what amounted to the same thing—to surrender his liberty. He did not lend his own benefactions at so much per cent.: he gave them. His benefactors, however, were of a very different ...
— Jean-Christophe Journey's End • Romain Rolland

... this is the greatest, Thy duty earliest and latest. Thy future rests in its embrace With cure for ills that now abase. ...
— Poems and Songs • Bjornstjerne Bjornson

... that in the same year, the same month, you have offered yourself to two men in succession and both have declined the honour? Luckily there is no one else to whom you can abase yourself. ...
— The Dangerous Age • Karin Michaelis

... knew I yet whereto His infirmity would guide us. For Thy Word, the Eternal Truth, far above the higher parts of Thy Creation, raises up the subdued unto Itself: but in this lower world built for Itself a lowly habitation of our clay, whereby to abase from themselves such as would be subdued, and bring them over to Himself; allaying their swelling, and tomenting their love; to the end they might go on no further in self-confidence, but rather consent to become weak, seeing before their feet the Divinity weak by taking our coats of skin; ...
— The Confessions of Saint Augustine • Saint Augustine

... canter in the environs, And very loud the cry out this sermon: "Let who would from our gods have garrison, Serve them and pray with great affliction." Pagans awhile their heads and faces on Their breasts abase, their polished helmets doff. And the Franks say: "Now shall you die, gluttons; This day shall bring you vile confusion! Give warranty, our God, unto Carlon! And in his name this victory ...
— The Song of Roland • Anonymous

... look of the treasure that had been exposed, they must lose, not only that, but any of their own money that might remain. What could it profit them to gather what they must straightway disgorge? But if they refuse to abase themselves before money, they would doubtless abase the foe. Thus it was better for them to stand erect in valour than be grovelling in greed; with their souls not sinking into covetousness, but ...
— The Danish History, Books I-IX • Saxo Grammaticus ("Saxo the Learned")

... cried, So to turn back from war Achilles awed By the voice divine, and save from death the Trojans: "Back from the Trojans, Peleus' son! Beseems not That longer thou deal death unto thy foes, Lest an Olympian God abase ...
— The Fall of Troy • Smyrnaeus Quintus

... Lord who am but dust and ashes. If I count myself more, behold Thou standest against me, and my iniquities bear true testimony, and I cannot gainsay it. But if I abase myself, and bring myself to nought, and shrink from all self-esteem, and grind myself to dust, which I am, Thy grace will be favourable unto me, and Thy light will be near unto my heart; and all self-esteem, how little soever it ...
— The Imitation of Christ • Thomas a Kempis

... ill besits,{18} that in derdoing, armes And honours suit my vowd daies do spend, Unto thy bounteous baytes and pleasing charmes, With which weake men thou witchest, to attend; Regard of worldly mucke{19} doth fowly blend, And low abase the high heroicke spright,{20} That joyes for crownes and kingdomes to contend: Faire shields, gay steedes, bright armes be my delight; Those be the riches fit for ...
— Six Centuries of English Poetry - Tennyson to Chaucer • James Baldwin

... he says, “what have men been able to do save to exalt themselves in the consciousness of their original greatness, or abase themselves in the view of their present weakness? Unable to see the whole truth, they have never attained to perfect virtue. One class considering nature as incorrupt, another as irreparable, they have been alternately ...
— Pascal • John Tulloch

... over. The Roman has raised such a smoke that his fingers will quickly be scorched in the flame. Moreover, had the Roman kept quiet, even had he refrained from threats, it becomes our honour, of our own choice, to enter on this war, to avenge the wrongs of our fathers, and to abase his pride. The Romans' logic is that they are entitled to receive tribute at our hands, by reason that their fathers, in their day, took truage of our ancestors. If this be so, it was no free-will offering of our fathers, ...
— Arthurian Chronicles: Roman de Brut • Wace

... To abase myself before her; to grovel at her feet and crave her pardon for my behaviour of last night. What else should I want to do, ...
— The Big Drum - A Comedy in Four Acts • Arthur Pinero

... I am a dwarf compared to him." And Hereward led the garron on by the bridle, keeping his cap in hand, while all wondered who the dame could be, before whom Hereward the champion would so abase himself. ...
— Hereward, The Last of the English • Charles Kingsley

... Lord came true. For seven years he was without reason, and was an outcast from his kingdom. But at the end of that time his eyes were lifted to heaven and his reason returned, and his kingdom was restored to him, for he had learned that God alone is great, and "Those that walk in pride He is able to abase." ...
— Child's Story of the Bible • Mary A. Lathbury

... earnestly, 'that you share an opinion that has injured me deeply; and it was to controvert it that I wanted to speak to you freely. Henceforth you will justify me, I hope; for I can clear myself of the charge of ingratitude and treason, which would abase me in my own eyes if I ...
— Hortense, Makers of History Series • John S. C. Abbott

... written of God's right over creatures appear to have conceded to him an unrestricted right, an arbitrary and despotic power. They thought that would be placing divinity on the most exalted level that may be imagined for it, and that it would abase the creature before the Creator to such an extent that the Creator is bound by no laws of any kind with respect to the creature. There are passages from Twiss, Rutherford and some other Supralapsarians which imply that ...
— Theodicy - Essays on the Goodness of God, the Freedom of Man and the Origin of Evil • G. W. Leibniz

... is the mark of Russian autocracy and of Russian revolt. In its pride of numbers, in its strange pretensions of sanctity, and in the secret readiness to abase itself in suffering, the spirit of Russia is the spirit of cynicism. It informs the declarations of her statesmen, the theories of her revolutionists, and the mystic vaticinations of prophets to the point of making freedom look like a form of debauch, and the Christian virtues ...
— Under Western Eyes • Joseph Conrad

... England has generally maintained over France is the true explanation. Certainly never were there stouter ships than those which France sent forth to fight her battles at the Nile and Trafalgar. Never braver men trod the deck than there laid down their lives rather than abase their country's flag. Yet they were beaten. The very nation which, on land, fighting against banded Europe, kept the balance for more than a generation at equipoise, on the water was beaten by the ships of one little isle of the sea. In the statement itself you have the explanation. ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. XII. July, 1863, No. LXIX. - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... a conflagration which was burning out his heart. His love for Kate was not a part of his life—it was ALL of his life. He was ready now for any sacrifice, no matter how humiliating. He would go down on his knees to his father if she wished it. He would beg Willits's pardon—he would abase himself in any way St. George should suggest. He had done what he thought was right, and he would do it over again under like circumstances, but he would grovel at Kate's feet and kiss the ground she stepped on if ...
— Kennedy Square • F. Hopkinson Smith

... worth with us than a right good jewel easy to be had at home. They have also the cast to teach us to neglect our own things; for, if they see that we begin to make any account of our commodities (if it be so that they have also the like in their own countries) they will suddenly abase the same to so low a price that our gain not being worthy our travel, and the same commodity with less cost ready to be had at home from other countries (though but for a while), it causeth us to give over our endeavours and as it were by-and-by to forget the matter whereabout we went before, ...
— Chronicle and Romance (The Harvard Classics Series) • Jean Froissart, Thomas Malory, Raphael Holinshed

... it," interrupted Mike. "That absolutely tears it. In the past three minutes I have been apologized to by a woman, a robot, and a cop. The next thing, a penguin will walk in here, tip his top hat, and abase himself while he mutters obsequiously in penguinese. Just what the devil is going ...
— Unwise Child • Gordon Randall Garrett

... paths closed to us," he replied; "even the gods seek us, for they grow weary in their splendid desolation—saving Him who liveth in all things and in us; Him we serve and before His awful front we abase ourselves. You, O Woman, who are walking in the valleys of anger, have called to us in your heart, therefore we are waiting for you on the side of the hill. Choose now one of us to be your mate, and do not fear to choose, for our kingdoms are equal and our ...
— The Crock of Gold • James Stephens

... church and the playhouse, where they segregate themselves from each other in a remarkable manner; for, as the people of fashion exalt themselves at church over the heads of the people of no fashion, so in the playhouse they abase themselves in the same degree under their feet. This distinction I have never met with any one able to account for: it is sufficient that, so far from looking on each other as brethren in the Christian language, they seem scarce ...
— Joseph Andrews Vol. 1 • Henry Fielding

... complained to her of his case, saying, "O my mother, go to her and speak with her; haply she will vouchsafe me her sight to see and dispel from me this despondency." Replied his mother, "Idle desires abase men's necks; so put away from thee this thought that can only vex; for I will not wend to her nor go in to her with such message.' Now when he heard his mother's words he told her what said the horse-thief concerning Zat al-Dawahi, how the old woman was ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 3 • Richard F. Burton

... altogether to abase and lower nature, as if she had no strength or stability against fortune; but on the contrary, knowing that the rotten and perishable part of man, wherein alone he lies open to fortune, is small, while we ourselves are masters of the better part, wherein are situated our greatest blessings, ...
— Plutarch's Morals • Plutarch



Words linked to "Abase" :   mortify, take down, wound, degrade, crush, offend, injure, hurt, smash



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