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Degrade   Listen
verb
Degrade  v. t.  (past & past part. degraded; pres. part. degrading)  
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."
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!" "Yet time ennobles or degrades each line." "Her pride... struggled hard against this degrading passion."
3.
(Geol.) To reduce in altitude or magnitude, as hills and mountains; to wear down.
Synonyms: To abase; demean; lower; reduce. See Abase.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Degrade" Quotes from Famous Books



... Fearfulness of the Deer and the CUNNING OF THE FOX—I had almost overlookd the Fidelity of the Dog. But I forbear to indulge my rambling Pen in this Way lest I should be thought chargeable with a Design to degrade the Dignity of our nature by comparing Men with Beasts. Let me just observe that I have mentiond only the more excellent Properties that are to [be] found among Quadrupeds. Had I suggested an Idea of the Vanity of the Ape the Tameness ...
— The Writings of Samuel Adams, vol. III. • Samuel Adams

... legitimate way, is worth all that it has cost us. We needed a severe lesson, and we have had it. It falls heavily upon some who are innocent. Let us, in kindness to these, find a balm for our own trials. And, now, let us not degrade ourselves by hot words and impotent resentments. They can do no good. Let us be men—Christian men, with detestation of the rascality from which we suffer, but with pity for the guilty man, who, sooner or later, will certainly ...
— Sevenoaks • J. G. Holland

... incorporated in The Dunciad. And its incorporation is by no means equivalent to the pollution of epic. That, Harte hints, is the achievement of scribblers like Blackmore (p. 12). It is they who inadvertently write mock-epics, parodies which degrade their great models; Pope, nominally writing mock-epic, actually ...
— An Essay on Satire, Particularly on the Dunciad • Walter Harte

... serving a cause and end by taking possession of it so completely that, from being its servants, they become its masters. Instead of being men of a cause, they make the cause that of a man, and they degrade the most sacred realities to the paltry level of ...
— The World's Great Sermons, Volume 10 (of 10) • Various

... part of the maintenance of a system, and religion is applied to that end, it becomes farcical; and while it must combine all the imperfections of the performer, necessarily tends to confine the ignorance of those it seeks to degrade, within the narrowest boundary. There are different ways of destroying the rights of different classes; and as many different ways, after they are destroyed, of wiping out the knowledge of their ever having had ...
— Our World, or, The Slaveholders Daughter • F. Colburn Adams

... yet to tell her that, and a dozen other equally simple facts, for her own sake, and for the sake of that coming Demos which she is to bring into the world; a Demos which, if we can only keep it healthy in body and brain, has before it so splendid a future: but which, if body and brain degrade beneath the influence of modern barbarism, is but too likely to follow the Demos of ancient Byzantium, ...
— Health and Education • Charles Kingsley

... the doctor. "In work of that kind you get into every variety of place; and some of it is new to you. Never mind! No one can contaminate you. It is the law that only a man can degrade himself. Knowing things will not harm you. Doing them is a different matter. What you know will be a protection. What you do ruins——if it is wrong. You are not harmed, you are only disgusted. Think it over, and in a few days come back and get your money. It is strictly honest. ...
— The Harvester • Gene Stratton Porter

... had collected have been sullied by a conquering soldiery; and their leader has waged a vulgar warfare on the noble womanhood his currish spirit could not gaze upon without a fruitless effort to degrade. ...
— Four Years in Rebel Capitals - An Inside View of Life in the Southern Confederacy from Birth to Death • T. C. DeLeon

... be laid waste as conquered territory when the Union is restored. They shall return as our brethren to live with us in peace and good will with the curse of Slavery lifted from them and their children. Nor will I permit the absorption of this black blood into our racial stock to degrade our National character. When free, the negro must return to ...
— The Southerner - A Romance of the Real Lincoln • Thomas Dixon

... intelligent. They are ingenious, but not creative. They are cunning in expedients, but deficient in tact. In love they are simply barbarous. They purchase their wives openly, and not constructively by attorney. By offering small sums for their sweethearts, they degrade ...
— The Luck of Roaring Camp and Other Tales • Bret Harte

... collected from the flowers of the field. It is not so recorded; but doubtless the nameless one in question was by profession a maker of opium pipes, for this person has observed from time to time how that occupation, above all others, tends to degrade the mental faculties, and to debase its followers to a lower position than that of the beasts of labour. Learn therefrom, O superficial Wang Yu, that wisdom lies in an intelligent perception of great principles, and not in a slavish imitation of details which ...
— The Wallet of Kai Lung • Ernest Bramah

... the home is the great school for the formation of character among the young, and it is on character that conduct depends. In proportion as this school of character is improved, in the same proportion will crime decrease. But how is it to be improved when the tendencies of industrialism are to degrade the women who stand by nature at the head of it? Indifferent mothers cannot make children good citizens; and the present course of things industrial is slowly but surely tending to debase the fountain head of the race. At the International Conference concerning ...
— Crime and Its Causes • William Douglas Morrison

... your inopportune mirth! What in God's name have I if I haven't hope? Take that from me and what would I be? Why, the very fate I have been fighting off with tooth and nail would overwhelm me. I'd sink into unimportance—my unparalleled misfortunes would degrade me to a level with the commonest! No, sir, I've never been without hope, and though I've fallen I've always got up. What Fentress has is based on money he stole from me. By God, the days of his profit-taking are at an end! I ...
— The Prodigal Judge • Vaughan Kester

... auld gnarled oak can be twisted as easily as the young sapling. Can I forget that I have been branded as an outlaw—stigmatised as a traitor—a price set on my head as if I had been a wolf—my family treated as the dam and cubs of the hill-fox, whom all may torment, vilify, degrade, and insult—the very name which came to me from a long and noble line of martial ancestors, denounced, as if it were a spell to ...
— Rob Roy, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... other, thinking it vain, in those days of lawless proscription, to contest a point of this nature with one who commanded twelve legions, obeyed the requisition. Upon some motive, now unknown, he was persuaded even to degrade himself farther; for he actually officiated at the marriage in character of father, and gave away the young beauty to his rival, although at that time six months advanced in pregnancy by himself. These humiliating concessions were extorted from him, and yielded (probably at the instigation ...
— The Caesars • Thomas de Quincey

... fruits than conceit and affectation, or vanity and pride. Nor could he conceive that all these preparations, all this previous talk, all this previous consultation, about the fashions, added to the employment itself of the decoration of the person, could tend to any thing else than to degrade the mind, and to render it light and frivolous. He would be obliged to acknowledge also, that minds, accustomed to take so deep an interest in the fashions and vanities of the world, would not only loath, but be disqualified for serious reflection. But if he ...
— A Portraiture of Quakerism, Volume I (of 3) • Thomas Clarkson

... "how, at these words, ambition, burning in thy soul, breaks out uncontrollable! Probity, honor, treaties, duty: feeble considerations these, to a heart letting loose its flamy passions; determining to rob the generous Germans of their liberties; to degrade thy equals; to extinguish 'Schism' (so called), and set up despotism on ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XVIII. (of XXI.) - Frederick The Great—Seven-Years War Rises to a Height.—1757-1759. • Thomas Carlyle

... was immediate, despite such criticisms as that of the "Athenaeum" that "Lyell's object is to make man old, Huxley's to degrade him." By the middle of February it reached its second thousand; in July it is heard of as republished in America; at the same time L. Buchner writes that he wished to translate it into German, but finds himself forestalled by Victor Carus. From another ...
— The Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley Volume 1 • Leonard Huxley

... and which requires of some classes a time suitable for probation and preparation. To give it indiscriminately to a new class, wholly unprepared by previous habits and opportunities to perform the trust which it demands, is to degrade it, and finally to destroy its power, for it may be safely assumed that no political truth is better established than that such indiscriminate and all-embracing extension of popular suffrage must end at last ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Section 2 (of 2) of Volume 6: Andrew Johnson • James D. Richardson

... of nasty mysterious dribbles that help to degrade Rock Creek and can undoubtedly be found in even more profusion along every other metropolitan watercourse. Such of them as issue from storm sewers will be eliminated when a solution turns up for the problem ...
— The Nation's River - The Department of the Interior Official Report on the Potomac • United States Department of the Interior

... spaces towards Central and South America. The letter also foreshadows the decisive conflict which is here to be waged between the elements of freedom and slavery, between social and political systems that will rescue and exalt humanity, and those which depress and degrade it. In the phraseology of that age, it was to be determined whether—the Old World, in the language of Twiss, "being almost at an end"—a "light" should be "set up" here to usher in the "kingdom ...
— Salem Witchcraft, Volumes I and II • Charles Upham

... young, as yet uncorrupted by scepticism, prepare the way for its realization; and may they, in the name of our national tradition and the future, unceasingly protest against all who seek to immobilize human life in the name of a dogma extinct, or to degrade it by diverting it from the eternal ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 20, No. 117, July, 1867. • Various

... a folly," replied the nephew, "to degrade such a creature as that;" and he attempted to kiss the baby; but, swift as thought, she had turned her face away, and was clinging ...
— Shanty the Blacksmith; A Tale of Other Times • Mrs. Sherwood [AKA: Mrs. Mary Martha Sherwood]

... but I beg to tell the Senator that if the word "traitor" is in any way applicable to those who refuse submission to a Tyrannical Usurpation, whether in Kansas or elsewhere, then must some new word, of deeper color, be invented, to designate those mad spirits who could endanger and degrade the Republic, while they betray all the cherished sentiments of the fathers and the spirit of the Constitution, in order to give new spread to Slavery. Let the Senator proceed. It will not be the first time in history, that a scaffold erected for punishment ...
— American Eloquence, Volume III. (of 4) - Studies In American Political History (1897) • Various

... and laws; He's now the same Montrose was then, But that the sword is turn'd a pen, A pen of so great power, each word Defends beyond the hero's sword." Now words grew high—we can't suppose Immortals ever come to blows, But lest unruly passion should Degrade them into flesh and blood, An angel quick from Heaven descends, And he at once the contest ends: "Ye reverend pair, from discord cease, Ye both mistake the present case; One kingdom cannot have pretence To so much virtue! so much sense! Search ...
— Poems (Volume II.) • Jonathan Swift

... think. They seem to see and realize the necessity of rules, and very seldom complain, if they violate them, at the punishment that is sure to follow. Our punishments are of such a character that they do not degrade. Kansas, when she established her penitentiary, prohibited corporal punishment. She is one of the few States that by law prohibits the use of the whip and strap; taking the position that it is better ...
— The Twin Hells • John N. Reynolds

... refusing to degrade you, has placed in doubt the crime that has been imputed to you; the Government, by surrounding your trials with mystery and shadows, causes the belief that there was some error, committed in fatal moments; and all the Philippines, by worshiping your memory ...
— The Reign of Greed - Complete English Version of 'El Filibusterismo' • Jose Rizal

... a heavy responsibility rests upon every colored leader, moral and civic, in these northern States to take an especial interest in their newly arriving brethren. You must teach them not to take their liberty to be ladies and gentlemen for license to degrade themselves and their race here. You must urge them to avoid the deadly vice and wasting extravagance of the unhealthy congested city. They should find their homes and rear their families in the suburbs, where they can buy their own homes and properly ...
— Negro Migration during the War • Emmett J. Scott

... I don't deny it; but I didn't her it. If she really said it I think she only meant she would take off his official head —degrade him from his command. It was not like her to threaten a comrade's life. She did have her doubts of her generals, and was entitled to them, for she was all for storm and assault, and they were for holding still ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... been very different,' which Brougham unaccountably took for a threat against the Government—was levelled at his own Tory friends for not supporting him. On the third reading they mean to have another fight about it. I understand the lawyers that the Bill is very objectionable, and calculated to degrade the profession. I sat by Talleyrand at dinner the day before yesterday, who told me a good deal about Mirabeau, but as he had a bad cold, in addition to his usual mode of pumping up his words from the bottomest pit of his stomach, it was next to impossible to understand him. He said Mirabeau was ...
— The Greville Memoirs - A Journal of the Reigns of King George IV and King William IV, Vol. II • Charles C. F. Greville

... affection will not be turned aside. We are literally in the dust, we grovel, we would fling away self-respect if we could; we would adopt for a model the creature preferred to us; we would humiliate, degrade ourselves; we cry for justice as if it were for pardon . ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... this hateful writer has conceived any thought of an uncommon malignity, a thought which tends, in a more particular manner, to excite the love of liberty, animate the heat of patriotism, or degrade the majesty of kings, he takes care to put it in the mouth of his hero, that it may be more forcibly impressed upon his reader. Thus Gustavus, speaking of his tatters, ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson in Nine Volumes - Volume V: Miscellaneous Pieces • Samuel Johnson

... of diurnal Lepidoptera which have hitherto, by almost universal consent, held the first rank in the order; and though this position has recently been denied them, I cannot altogether acquiesce in the reasoning by which it has been proposed to degrade them to a lower rank. In Mr. Bates's most excellent paper on the Heliconidae, (published in the Transactions of the Linnaean Society, vol. xxiii., p. 495) he claims for that family the highest position, chiefly because ...
— Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection - A Series of Essays • Alfred Russel Wallace

... reformers; but it cannot be in the destructive spirit displayed by some who, in the prophet's language, amid darkness on the earth, "fret themselves, and curse their King and their God, and look upward." Poverty cannot degrade, nor ignorance bedwarf, nor persecution crush, nor dungeon enthral the free, glad spirit of a child of God, erect in its regenerate strength, and rich in its eternal hopes and heritage. And this hopeful and ...
— The Riches of Bunyan • Jeremiah Rev. Chaplin

... children are. Who are more criminal than English boys? and yet they grow up decent, law-abiding men. Almost the only confirmed criminals have been made so by punishment, by that punishment which some consider is intended to uplift them, but which never does aught but degrade them. Instead of cleansing the garment, it tears it, and renders it ...
— The Soul of a People • H. Fielding

... suffering alone. Oh, it has all crept upon us, this great, great love! It was fate, and it was useless to struggle against it. Only we must not let it be the reason of our doing wrong—that would be to degrade it, and love should not live in an atmosphere of degradation. I could not go away with you, could not have you for my lover without breaking a bargain—a bargain over which I have given my word. Of course I did not know what love meant when I was ...
— Beyond The Rocks - A Love Story • Elinor Glyn

... nothing which can aid the growth and purity of the religious sentiment, beyond advancing its social relations; while symbols, in the proper sense of the term, and propitiatory rites, as necessarily false and without foundation, always degrade and obscure religious thought. Their prominence in a cult declines, as it rises in quality; and in a perfected scheme of worship they ...
— The Religious Sentiment - Its Source and Aim: A Contribution to the Science and - Philosophy of Religion • Daniel G. Brinton

... allowed the use of a razor to remove his beard; and the luxury of a barber to perform that essential part of his toilet was an expense which his foes could not incur. It was the studied endeavor of those who now rode upon the crested yet perilous billows of power, to degrade royalty to the lowest depths of debasement and contempt—that the beheading of the king and the queen might be regarded as merely the execution of a male and a female felon dragged from ...
— Maria Antoinette - Makers of History • John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott

... (though they found it a sore battle), they refused the evil and chose the good? It is true, again, that their great deeds may be more or less explained, attributed to laws, rationalised: but is explaining always explaining away? Is it to degrade a thing to attribute it to a law? And do you do anything more by 'rationalising' men's deeds than prove that they were rational men; men who saw certain fixed laws, and obeyed them, and succeeded thereby, ...
— Sir Walter Raleigh and his Time from - "Plays and Puritans and Other Historical Essays" • Charles Kingsley

... of knowledge is not general: it is confined to a chosen few of every age. How far these are better than their neighbours, we may examine by and bye. The mass of mankind is composed of beasts of burden, mere clods, and tools of their superiors. By enlarging and complicating your machines, you degrade, not exalt, the human animals you employ to direct them. When the boatswain of a seventy-four pipes all hands to the main tack, and flourishes his rope's end over the shoulders of the poor fellows ...
— Headlong Hall • Thomas Love Peacock

... more year, with its masses that prayed For the daily bread that so seldom came; With its lives whom sinning could never degrade, Till the canker of want brought guilt and shame. Gone one more year, with its noble souls Who raised up the weary in hours of need; With its crowds that started for wished-for goals, And drooped ...
— The Death of Saul and other Eisteddfod Prize Poems and Miscellaneous Verses • J. C. Manning

... ready to support a serious attempt at playwriting. I claim that a play may do something more than amuse—it may interest. There is a wide difference, you will see. To be an amusement merely is to degrade our stage to the level of a Punch-and-Judy show. I am sorry for tired men and weary women, but as a dramatist I can't afford to take their troubles into account. I am writing for those who are mentally alert and willing to support plays that have at least the dignity ...
— The Light of the Star - A Novel • Hamlin Garland

... Allied flags under whose protection the conspiracy was carried on. By this time the French and British detectives had usurped the powers and inverted the functions of the police organs;[10] and the French and {128} British agents, after fomenting those fatal differences which divide and degrade a people, had developed into directors of ...
— Greece and the Allies 1914-1922 • G. F. Abbott

... a last, and as he had imagined, a certain resource, he had promised the price of his ransom should be paid by the first of his countrymen that he might meet with, on the best of all securities, to be thus refused and dishonoured by him, would, he knew, degrade them sadly in the opinion of the natives, if it did not ...
— Lander's Travels - The Travels of Richard Lander into the Interior of Africa • Robert Huish

... religious subjects, which by mere puffing in magazines and newspapers have had an immense sale, and some of which are now in their tenth or twelfth editions. I have for some time past thought that the trick of puffing, as it is now practised both by authors and publishers, is likely to degrade the literary character, and to deprave the public taste, in a frightful degree. I really think that we ought to try what effect satire will have upon this nuisance, and I doubt whether we can ...
— Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay • George Otto Trevelyan

... each stick to our several stations, and not degrade ourselves by learning the evil and discontented habits of human beings, each one of whom ...
— Queer Stories for Boys and Girls • Edward Eggleston

... of all kinds: it is like those neutral forces of faith and thought, which depend for their result upon the direction in which they are turned. Inspiration can uplift, but it may also degrade. We ourselves by the tuning of our own thoughts determine which it shall accomplish. Like can only answer to like: anger can never play echo to love, for their vibrations are so far apart in attunement that the one cannot influence the other. But anger answers to anger, and love to ...
— Spirit and Music • H. Ernest Hunt

... weak and worldly,—to assert your own will—your own thought and opinion—in the face of the Most High! What! YOU will desert the Church? YOU whose ancestors have for ages been devout servants of the faith? YOU, the last descendant of the Counts Hermenstein, a noble and loyal family, will degrade your birth by taking up with the rags and tags of humanity—the scarecrows of life? And by your sheer stupidity and obstinacy, you will allow your husband's soul to be dragged to perdition with your own! You call it love—to keep him an infidel? You call it marriage- -to be united to him ...
— The Master-Christian • Marie Corelli

... must remind you again that Lady Hope is my only sister, and in these insults you degrade her." ...
— The Old Countess; or, The Two Proposals • Ann S. Stephens

... fancies; while moralists assign as its cause, the sanguinary spirit of our laws, our brutal exhibitions of hanging, drawing and quartering, of gibbettings, whippings, brandings, and torturings, which degrade men's natures, and give them a relish for scenes of blood ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 1, October 2, 1841 • Various

... says 'at the moment of faith.' I am not going to be tempted into controversial paths now, for my purpose is a very different one, but I cannot help just a word about the former of these two answers. 'Given in baptism,' say our friends, and I venture to think that they thereby degrade Christianity into a system of magic, bringing together two entirely disparate things, an external physical act and a spiritual change. I do not say anything about the disastrous effects that have followed from such a conception of the medium by which this greatest of all Christian ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture: Romans Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V) • Alexander Maclaren

... however, but looked at him fearlessly. It was impossible for her to humble herself before the latent insolence of his look. It seemed to degrade her out of all consideration. He felt the courage of her defiance, and it moved him. Yet he could but speak ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... history they regard as a gigantic commonplace—thus ignoring the innumerable deeds of derring-do which distinguished that immortal contest—blinding their eyes to the "lines of empire" in the "infant face of that cradled Hercules," and the tremendous sprawlings of his nascent strength—and seeking to degrade those forests into whose depths a path for the sunbeams must be hewn, and where, lightning appears to enter trembling, and to withdraw in haste; forests which must one day drop down a poet, whose genius shall be worthy of their age, their vastitude, the beauty which they inclose, and the ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 3, August, 1850. • Various

... not but have many enemies at court. They combined, and easily persuaded Ferdinand, who had also been insulted by his arrogance, again to degrade him. Wallenstein, informed of their machinations, endeavored to rally the army to a mutiny in his favor. Ferdinand, alarmed by this intelligence, which even threatened his own dethronement, immediately dismissed Wallenstein from the command, and dispatched officers from Vienna to seize his person, ...
— The Empire of Austria; Its Rise and Present Power • John S. C. Abbott

... what you mean, sir. Mr. Monson, that would be degrading lawful wedlock to the level of a bet—a game of cards—a mercenary, contemptible bargain. No, sir—nothing shall ever induce me to degrade this honorable estate ...
— Autobiography of a Pocket-Hankerchief • James Fenimore Cooper

... dear life. So heavenly love shall outdo hellish hate, Giving to death, and dying to redeem, So dearly to redeem what hellish hate So easily destroyed, and still destroys In those who, when they may, accept not grace. Nor shalt thou, by descending to assume Man's nature, lessen or degrade thine own. Because thou hast, though throned in highest bliss Equal to God, and equally enjoying God-like fruition, quitted all, to save A world from utter loss, and hast been found By merit more than ...
— Paradise Lost • John Milton

... illustrated by the following extract: "Perception, consciousness, cognition, we continue to be told, are qualities which cannot appertain to matter; there must hence be a thinking and an immaterial principle; and man must still be a compound being. Yet, why thus degrade matter, the plastic and prolific creature of the Deity, beyond what we are authorized to do? Why may it not perceive, why not think, why not become conscious? What eternal and necessary impediment prevents? or what self-contradiction and absurdity is ...
— Modern Atheism under its forms of Pantheism, Materialism, Secularism, Development, and Natural Laws • James Buchanan

... Pitt afterwards assured the House of Commons that Maret had not made the smallest communication to Ministers.[189] Evidently they looked on him as an unofficial emissary, to which level Chauvelin had persistently endeavoured to degrade him. ...
— William Pitt and the Great War • John Holland Rose

... would degrade me in my own eyes. I'd rather starve; and you can't shake them off—the first impression is everything; they would always be remembered against me," he added after ...
— The Grey Wig: Stories and Novelettes • Israel Zangwill

... incapable of working. For the grand moving power we have an undefined, and consequently unintelligible doctrine of Ideas, of supposed spiritual and directing agency; the admission of which would destroy the responsibility of a human being both here and hereafter, and degrade his ennobled condition to the instinct of the speechless brute. To endow these insubstantial and reflected phantasms with some activity and mimic play, a theory of the association of Ideas has been erected, without having previously established that they are capable ...
— On the Nature of Thought - or, The act of thinking and its connexion with a perspicuous sentence • John Haslam

... drop; depress, reduce; decrease, diminish, fall, humble, humiliate, degrade, abash, detrude, dishonor; frown, scowl, glower, ...
— Putnam's Word Book • Louis A. Flemming

... princes; in 'Nathan,' against the priests." But, although the subjects of these works of Lessing were small, his object in writing was always great and national. He never condescended to amuse a provincial court by masquerades and comedies, nor did he degrade his genius by pandering, like Wieland, to the taste of a profligate nobility. Schiller, again, was a poet truly national and truly liberal; and although a man of aspirations rather than of actions, he has left a deeper impress on the kernel of the nation than either Wieland ...
— Chips From A German Workshop. Vol. III. • F. Max Mueller

... this nefarious business was conducted mainly through one channel; for, spite of man's inclination to vice and crime, there are but few men, thank God, so low in the scale of humanity as to be willing to degrade themselves by doing the dirty work of four-legged bloodhounds. Yet such men, actuated by the love of gold and their own base and brutal natures, were found ready for the work. These fellows consorted with constables, police-officers, aldermen, and even ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 101, March, 1866 • Various

... attend me, you shall be my very first esquire, Paul," said the prince emphatically; "and we will ride through the world together, seeking adventures which shall make all men wonder when they hear of them. And when I am king you shall be my first counsellor and greatest lord. I will degrade from office and dignity those proud nobles who have been traitors at heart to my kingly father, and to you I will give their broad lands and high titles. We will thus be comrades and friends through life. You would never desert ...
— In the Wars of the Roses - A Story for the Young • Evelyn Everett-Green

... own eyes monarchy compelled to degrade itself, and to inflict its death-wound with its own hand; he saw the throne that base courtiers had dragged through the mire defiled by the grip of parricidal hands, and buried, fathoms deep, beneath a sea of blood; he saw the best of kings expire upon a scaffold, the victim not less of other men's ...
— Pius IX. And His Time • The Rev. AEneas MacDonell

... dogmatical and insolent, but without refinement or point. He calls people names, and tries to transfix a character with an epithet, which does not stick, because it has no other foundation than his own petulance and spite; or he endeavours to degrade by alluding to some circumstance of external situation. He says of Mr. Wordsworth's poetry, that "it is his aversion." That may be: but whose fault is it? This is the satire of a lord, who is accustomed ...
— The Spirit of the Age - Contemporary Portraits • William Hazlitt

... bitter, of the attempt to present a disgraceful occupation on an amiable, almost a sentimental side, rather than in its own proper deformity. [Footnote: This tendency of men to throw the mantle of an honourable word over a dishonourable thing, or, vice versa, to degrade an honourable thing, when they do not love it, by a dishonourable appellation, has in Greek a word to describe it, [Greek: hypokorizesthai], itself a word with an interesting history; while the great ethical teachers ...
— On the Study of Words • Richard C Trench

... further, and appointed him his carver. He then said aloud in the hearing of many persons, "Let them now go and pay their court to my carver." Vexed at this insult, Lysander remonstrated with him, saying, "Truly, Agesilaus, you know how to degrade your friends." "Ay, to be sure," answered he, "those among them who want to appear greater than I am."[176] "Perhaps," replied Lysander, "you have spoken the truth, and I have not acted rightly. Bestow on me, however, some ...
— Plutarch's Lives Volume III. • Plutarch

... those who do not believe that to give to women common rights and privileges will degrade them, but on the contrary I believe it will ennoble them; and I believe further that to put them on an equality in the matter of rights and privileges with men will enhance their charms and ...
— The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume IV • Various

... "Remember what you suffered during a seven-years' war with the satellites of George the Third (and I hope the last). Recollect the services rendered by your allies, now contending for liberty. Blush to think that America should degrade herself so much as to enter into any kind of treaty with a power, now tottering on the brink of ruin, whose principles are directly contrary ...
— Washington and the American Republic, Vol. 3. • Benson J. Lossing

... a manly and royal decision in the great emergency, it would be indispensable for him to come before that odious body, the Parliament of Great Britain, and ask for money. It would be perhaps necessary for him to take them into his confidence, to degrade himself by speaking to them of the national affairs. They might not be satisfied with the honour of voting the supplies at his demand, but were capable of asking questions as to their appropriation. On the whole it was more king-like and statesman-like to ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... is a picture of one whom vagrancy assuredly did not degrade:—"I had not the least care for the future, and I awaited the answer [as to the return of Madame de Warens to Savoy], lying out in the open air, sleeping stretched out on the ground or on some wooden bench, as tranquilly as on a bed of roses. I remember ...
— Rousseau - Volumes I. and II. • John Morley

... first rock in her path, if they attempted to carry her further. The stanch refusal embarrassed her Mahometan conductor, inasmuch as his country's law forbade him to use extraordinary compulsion, or degrade the ...
— Captain Canot - or, Twenty Years of an African Slaver • Brantz Mayer

... cellmate?—Possibly; but even a beast seeks privacy at certain junctures; and to deny all privacy tends to bestialize human beings. It is a part of the "put-the-fear-of-God-in-his-heart" principle—to break, humiliate, degrade the man, and render him unfit for human association. There are a washbasin and a toilet seat at the foot of the cot, facing the barred door. What difference can it make to a convict if the guard, or any other passer-by, watches him ...
— The Subterranean Brotherhood • Julian Hawthorne

... will do. Why else should he want to have her there? With his ideas he would think it the best thing he could do utterly to degrade us all. He has no idea of the honour of his brothers. How should he, when he is so anxious to sacrifice his own sister? As for me, of course, he would do anything to break my heart. He knows that I ...
— Marion Fay • Anthony Trollope

... then turned to go away with the ambassadors, as a stranger might not be present at the deliberations of the Senate. His old friends pressed him to stay and give his opinion as a senator who had twice been consul; but he refused to degrade that dignity by claiming it, slave as he was. But, at the command of his Carthaginian masters, he remained, ...
— A Book of Golden Deeds • Charlotte M. Yonge

... accepted literature, Sir Joshua Reynolds has given to art a better position. Would that there were no counteracting circumstances which still keep it from reaching its proper rank! Some there are, which materially degrade it, amongst which is the attempt to force patronage; the whole system of Art Unions, and of Schools of Design, the "in forma pauperis" petitioning and advertising, and the rearing innumerable artists, ill-educated in all but drawing, and mere ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol. 53, No. 331, May, 1843 • Various

... which may be rather ruinous, but which one cannot give up. As to the others, those who have nothing to use their money for, no vice, no wife, no children, and who sell themselves, ruin themselves, bow down, humiliate, enrich, and degrade themselves—ah! I'd give all ...
— Rene Mauperin • Edmond de Goncourt and Jules de Goncourt

... each way, said to have been made by foreigners, asked me to explain what it was. He also showed me a musical-box and a spy-glass, asking many questions. From all I could learn by my visit to this pretender there was nothing in their religion to elevate, but everything to degrade. With them to rob and murder were virtuous deeds. "Slay the imps" was their watchword. Gordon found in this fanatic a foe of no mean order. But he soon found too that courage and faith in God had done and would still lead to victory. In a letter ...
— General Gordon - Saint and Soldier • J. Wardle

... to have assumed that the paper was a general discussion on reinforced concrete design. The idea in pointing out that a column having longitudinal rods in it may be weaker than a plain concrete column was not to exalt the plain concrete column but to degrade the other. A plain concrete column of any slenderness would manifestly be a gross error. If it can be shown that one having only longitudinal rods may be as bad, or worse, instead of being greatly strengthened by these rods, a large amount of life and ...
— Some Mooted Questions in Reinforced Concrete Design • Edward Godfrey

... tended, he cryed with a loude voyce, saying: Fie, on falshoode: Fye on false friers, reuealers of confession: after this day, let no man euer trust any false Friers, contemners of God's word and deceiuers of men. And so they proceding to degrade him of hys small orders of Benet and Collet, he sayd with a loud voyce, take from me not onely your owne orders, but also your owne baptisme, meaning thereby, whatsoeuer is besides that which Christ hymselfe instituted, ...
— The Works of John Knox, Vol. 1 (of 6) • John Knox

... you fit to do so, messire. Believe me, there is not a lackey in this realm—no, not a cut-purse, nor any pander—who would not in meeting you upon equal footing degrade himself. For you have slandered that which is most perfect in the world; yet lies, Messire de Montors, have short legs; and I design within the hour to insure the ...
— Domnei • James Branch Cabell et al

... Hone records that: "Bennett, the editor of the Herald, is on a tour through Great Britain, whence he furnishes lies and scandal for the infamous paper which has contributed so much to corrupt the morals and degrade the taste of the people of New York." In one of the last entries of the Diary, a few months before Hone's death, allusion is made to a personal attack on the editor by the defeated candidate of the Locofoco party for the ...
— Fifth Avenue • Arthur Bartlett Maurice

... mutual pledge, "As yours, so mine, demands our mutual care. "But rightly still affairs if we design, "What you lament will no injustice prove; "Love only. Sure, a son-in-law like him, "Can ne'er degrade, will you consent but yield. "Grant nought beyond,—'tis no such trivial boast, "Jove's brother to be call'd! How then, if more "I claim pre-eminence from chance alone! "Still, if so obstinate your wish remains "For separation, go,—let ...
— The Metamorphoses of Publius Ovidus Naso in English blank verse Vols. I & II • Ovid

... little more than a sturdy peasant, who, in destroying Gessler, follows only a personal revenge, and feels the remorse of a common assassin. If this were historic truth, it was not the part of the poet to be the first to discover and proclaim it. Was he to degrade the character below the rank which ordinary historians assigned to it? We do not want a drama to frame the portrait of a Lincolnshire farmer; it is the place, if place there is, for the representation of the higher ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 57, No. 356, June, 1845 • Various

... a soulful poetess at dinner one night, and that dreamy one turned her sad eyes upon him. "Have you no other ambition, Mr. Herford," she demanded, "than to force people to degrade themselves by laughter?" ...
— Toaster's Handbook - Jokes, Stories, and Quotations • Peggy Edmund & Harold W. Williams, compilers

... troops were defeated and she fled to England. Throwing herself on Elizabeth's mercy she found prison and finally, after nineteen years, the scaffold. An inquiry was held concerning her case, but no verdict was rendered because it did not suit Elizabeth to degrade her sister sovereign more than was necessary. Not for the murder of her husband, but for complicity in a plot against Elizabeth, was Mary finally condemned to die. In spite of the fact that she did everything possible to disgrace herself more deeply than ever, such as pensioning the ...
— The Age of the Reformation • Preserved Smith

... good Father. Have you not offered me, what is to me beyond all price, that I should again be in the arms of my husband? Can I degrade myself to a lie? not for life, or liberty ...
— The Phantom Ship • Captain Frederick Marryat

... excitedly to protest against the last speaker's proposals, which he declared were an insult to their common Guyhood. They might have come down in the world, but hitherto, whatever might be said of them, they had, at least, never rendered themselves publicly ridiculous. Now they were asked to degrade themselves by accepting the ignominious position of London Statues! Was there a Guy who would ever hold up his head again, after such an infamous surrender of his self-respect and independence? He felt it his duty to denounce the Guy ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 103, November 5, 1892 • Various

... Asia Minor also, where Orcetes, accustomed, in the absence of Cambyses, to act as an autonomous sovereign, displayed little zeal in accommodating himself to the new order of things. There was so much uncertainty as to the leanings of the Persian guard of Orcetes, that Darius did not venture to degrade the satrap officially, but despatched Bagseus to Sardes with precise instructions, which enabled him to accomplish his mission by degrees, so as not to risk a Lydian revolt. His first act was to show ...
— History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 9 (of 12) • G. Maspero

... found funny or contemptible. The simplicity and earnestness which give dignity to any phraseology come from the humanity behind it. We are well reminded that divergences from the common use of language, never held to degrade the meaning in Milton or Shakespeare, need not render thought despicable when the negro uses identical forms. If he calls a leopard a "libbard," he only imitates the most sublime of English poets; and the first word ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 9, No. 55, May, 1862 • Various

... support it. It is a privilege of honourable persons that they are excused from swearing, and that their verbum honoris passeth in lieu of an oath: is it not then strange, that when others dispense with them, they should not dispense with themselves, but voluntarily degrade themselves, and with sin forfeit so ...
— Sermons on Evil-Speaking • Isaac Barrow

... watch the movements of two men—the Duke of Marlborough and Lord Bolingbroke. Marlborough was beyond question the greatest soldier of his time. He had gone into exile when Queen Anne consented to degrade him and to persecute him, and now he was on his way home, at the urgent entreaty of the Whig leaders, in order to lend his powerful influence ...
— A History of the Four Georges, Volume I (of 4) • Justin McCarthy

... scorned to ask you to wed him. Now he would degrade the heiress of my wealth by seeking to ...
— Joseph II. and His Court • L. Muhlbach

... could not support a wife, as a consistent democrat he could not oppose a fairly prosperous tradesman. A final appeal was made to Delaware; she was implored to consider the situation of her sisters, who had all made more ambitious marriages or were about to make them. Why should she now degrade the family by marrying a ...
— Under the Redwoods • Bret Harte

... the degraded and irreverent feelings of mystery and shame that have been attached to the genital and excretory organs. The former have been regarded, like their corresponding mental passions, as something of a lower and baser nature, tending to degrade and carnalize man by their physical appetites. But we cannot take a debasing view of any part of our humanity without becoming degraded ...
— The Pivot of Civilization • Margaret Sanger

... the imagination has its use, it has its abuse also. If visions of truth and beauty can exalt, visions of vice can debase and degrade. In that picture where Faust and Satan battle together for the scholar's soul, the angels share in the conflict. Plucking the roses of Paradise, they fling them over the battlements down upon the heads of the combatants. When the roses ...
— A Man's Value to Society - Studies in Self Culture and Character • Newell Dwight Hillis

... existence in England were in Latin, and it was a "great" library which contained fifty copies of these. There was a great objection to the use of the vernacular in the Holy Scriptures, as tending to degrade them by its uncouth jargon; but the Venerable Bede had rendered the Gospel of St. John into the Anglo-Saxon, together with other extracts from holy Scripture; and there were versions of the Psalter in the vulgar ...
— Edwy the Fair or the First Chronicle of Aescendune • A. D. Crake

... our eyes against reason, we must basely degrade our understanding, not to see the folly of what is called monarchy. Nature is orderly in all her works; but this is a mode of government that counteracts nature. It turns the progress of the human faculties upside down. ...
— The Writings Of Thomas Paine, Complete - With Index to Volumes I - IV • Thomas Paine

... Romans should have been born on Spanish soil seems to have passed with little remark, and this very absence of notice is significant. Trajan's first care as emperor was to write to the Senate an assurance like that which had been given by Nerva, that he would neither kill nor degrade any senator. He ordered the establishment of a temple and cult in honor of his adoptive father, but he did not present himself at Rome for nearly two years after his accession. Possibly he had taken measures before ...
— Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 1 of 8 • Various

... to stand his trial at Rome; and though he was known to be kept in close custody at Oxford, he was, upon his not appearing, condemned as contumacious. Bonner, bishop of London, and Thirleby of Ely, were sent to degrade him; and the former executed the melancholy ceremony with all the joy and exultation which suited his savage nature.[*] The implacable spirit of the queen, not satisfied with the eternal damnation of Cranmer, which she believed inevitable, and with the execution ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part C. - From Henry VII. to Mary • David Hume

... remote the creative conception is from all scholastic and ethical formulae, I am led to think that a healthy mind ought to change its mood from time to time, and come down from its noblest condition,—never, of course, to degrade itself by dwelling upon what is itself debasing, but to let its lower faculties have a chance to air and exercise themselves. After the first and second floor have been out in the bright street dressed in all their splendors, shall not our humble friends in the basement have their holiday, and the ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... means of promoting the one aim which held them together—the undermining of Clarendon's power. For this object they were all alike prepared to support the pretensions, and flatter the vanity, of the shameless and grasping courtesan, to ruin the happiness of the wife, to degrade the honour, and send to slumber the scruples, of the King, and to besmirch that Crown, which a flood of unselfish loyalty had restored, only two years before, to the love and reverence ...
— The Life of Edward Earl of Clarendon V2 • Henry Craik

... the Guilty. This proves His heroism; but no more does away man's guilt than a schoolboy's volunteering to be flogged for another would exculpate the dunce from negligence, or preserve him from the Rod. You degrade the Creator, in the first place, by making Him a begetter of children; and in the next you convert Him into a Tyrant over an immaculate and injured Being, who is sent into existence to suffer death for the benefit ...
— The Works of Lord Byron: Letters and Journals, Volume 2. • Lord Byron

... chance to flow. The elevation of the colored man can only be completed by the elevation of the pure descendants of Africa; because to deny his equality, is to deny in a like proportion, the equality of all those mixed with the African organization; and to establish his inferiority, will be to degrade every person related to him by consanguinity; therefore, to establish the equality of the African with the European race, establishes the equality of every person intermediate between the two races. This established ...
— The Condition, Elevation, Emigration, and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States • Martin R. Delany

... eye to see, no hand to pluck, Mother Nature delights in profusion, seemingly because she is made that way and cannot help it. And yet, in this little Rose-garden of ours—the Human Soul -we tramp down the flowers, plant loathsome weeds and poisons that kill and degrade and besot us, set up the tables of the money-changers, drive out the doves of Hesperides, and turn the temple into a shambles for wild beasts. "Nothing pays." "Let us ...
— The New Avatar and The Destiny of the Soul - The Findings of Natural Science Reduced to Practical Studies - in Psychology • Jirah D. Buck

... degrade man to a lower state. Every evil deed, word, or thought lowers us in moral being. If some one has done evil toward us, he has lowered himself by that act; and for us to decide to "get even" by a similar act toward him is for us to decide that we will lower ourselves to his level. To ...
— Heart Talks • Charles Wesley Naylor

... and which it may be well enough to mention here. I have seen frequent instances where one of the very best jacks in the country had been put to mares of good quality and spirit. Putting them to such contemptible animals seemed to degrade them, to destroy their natural will and temper. The result was a sort of bastard mule, a small-legged, small-footed, cowardly animal, inheriting all the vices of the mule and none of the horse's virtues— the very meanest of ...
— The Mule - A Treatise On The Breeding, Training, - And Uses To Which He May Be Put • Harvey Riley

... impossible for a man to use alcoholic drinks regularly without laying the foundation for both physical and mental diseases, and, at the same time, lessening his power to make the best of himself in his life-work; while beyond this lies the awful risk of acquiring an appetite which may enslave, degrade and ruin him, body and soul, as it is degrading and ruining ...
— Grappling with the Monster • T. S. Arthur

... species of men whom the ladies generally mention with terror and aversion under the name of scholars, but whom I have found a harmless and inoffensive order of beings, not no much wiser than ourselves, but that they may receive as well as communicate knowledge, and more inclined to degrade their own character by cowardly submission, than to overbear or oppress us with ...
— The Young Gentleman and Lady's Monitor, and English Teacher's Assistant • John Hamilton Moore

... moral purpose; only as there is stitched into the cloth the diviner thread of hopeful love; only as the deed gathers the aroma of an aspiring human life, is it a dignified transaction. But when you make of the laborer a slave, degrade his work to a mere fight for bread, harass him by continual debt, put him in a vile tenement house that smothers all holy ambition, labor has no longer dignity, it smells rather of ...
— White Slaves • Louis A Banks

... of Shakespeare;—even the letters of women of high rank in his age were often coarser than his writings. If he occasionally disgusts a keen sense of delicacy, he never injures the mind; he neither excites, nor flatters, passion, in order to degrade the subject of it; he does not use the faulty thing for a faulty purpose, nor carries on warfare against virtue, by causing wickedness to appear as no wickedness, through the medium of a morbid sympathy with the unfortunate. In Shakespeare vice never walks as in twilight; nothing is purposely ...
— Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher • S. T. Coleridge

... receive Octavius. He spoke her fairly, but she was wise enough to see that all her charms were lost on him, and that he proposed to degrade her by making her walk as a ...
— Historic Tales, Volume 11 (of 15) - The Romance of Reality • Charles Morris

... gradually took the form of a system somewhat like that of the bondage of the Hebrews, modified in the case of Mauritius, however, according to the requirements of the temper and habits of the natives and the situation of the planters. There was no regard for the comfort of the slaves and they tended to degrade to the lowest depths. Yet the slaves were not considered altogether as chattels, convertible at the will of their masters. In the second stage, however, the bondage of the Negro reached the darkest age of irresponsibility to law and cruelty absolutely intolerable. A few ...
— The Journal of Negro History, Volume 7, 1922 • Various

... open spaces, cheap baths, and better municipal sanitation for the poor. But improvement in these matters cannot come entirely from without; "the model tenement implies a model tenant." As a London authority puts it: "The condition of the house may degrade its occupants. The careless life and habits of the occupants will spoil the house, and make it filthy and unhealthy." The friendly visitor should try to make the family healthily discontented with unsanitary surroundings, ...
— Friendly Visiting among the Poor - A Handbook for Charity Workers • Mary Ellen Richmond

... passer-by if I can possibly fish out the way for myself. It isn't rational of course. Sometimes I could save a detour if I would stop and ask; but I prefer to plunge on and make a mistake rather than admit that a mere man on legs can teach me anything I don't know. It seems somehow to degrade the automobile." ...
— My Friend the Chauffeur • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... his attitude remained exactly what it had been in 1909, when at the Manchester Martyr celebration he had appealed to his audience never to degrade themselves by entering the British Army, telling them that if ever they wished to fight they ought to wait for the prospect of a German invasion ...
— Six days of the Irish Republic - A Narrative and Critical Account of the Latest Phase of Irish Politics • Louis Redmond-Howard

... the skipper said, but I tell you at once I'm not going to stoop to do anything of the kind. Do you think I'm going to degrade myself by ...
— Hunting the Skipper - The Cruise of the "Seafowl" Sloop • George Manville Fenn

... conceived that I mean to degrade or vilify the literary character, when I would only separate the Author from those polluters of the press who have turned a vestal into a prostitute; a grotesque race of famished buffoons or laughing assassins; or that populace of unhappy beings, who are driven to perish ...
— Calamities and Quarrels of Authors • Isaac D'Israeli

... ordinary course of events they would be relieved from bondage and entitled to exercise powers of their own; but that the inferiority of the Slave was not such as to place him outside the pale of the Family, or such as to degrade him to the footing of inanimate property, is clearly proved, I think, by the many traces which remain of his ancient capacity for inheritance in the last resort. It would, of course, be unsafe in the highest degree to hazard conjectures ...
— Ancient Law - Its Connection to the History of Early Society • Sir Henry James Sumner Maine

... 3000 men, which I refused, preferring to trust myself to French honour. I have not had reason to complain of that confidence from Fontainbleau to Avignon; but between that town and this, I have been insulted, and have been in great danger. The Provencals degrade themselves. Since I have been in France, I have not had a good regiment of Provencals under my orders. They are good for nothing but to make a noise. The Gascons are boasters, but at least they are brave."—At these words, one of the ...
— Travels in France during the years 1814-1815 • Archibald Alison

... she had none. Her father had left her nothing. Kayser was poor and in debt. She had no occupation. To run about giving private lessons on the piano, seemed to Marianne to degrade her almost to the level of domestic service. Those who wished to pose for the Montyon prize might ...
— His Excellency the Minister • Jules Claretie

... have them; the force of the [Greek: menis] and [Greek: mneme] with which we seek after them, does, indeed, make them powerful to us for actual good or evil; and it is thus granted to us to create not only with our hands things that exalt or degrade our sight, but with our hearts also, things that exalt or degrade our souls; giving true substance to all that we hoped for; evidence to things that we have not seen, but have desired to ...
— Aratra Pentelici, Seven Lectures on the Elements of Sculpture - Given before the University of Oxford in Michaelmas Term, 1870 • John Ruskin

... though she seems to be dismayed at his serving as a common soldier. I adore Jack; I think him the finest, the most perfect nature after my father's—that lives. But I give him up gladly, because to keep him would be to degrade him. We know that he may fall; that he may come back to us a cripple or worse. But, as you see, we make no sign. Not a line of routine has been changed in the house. Jack will march away and never see a tear in my eye or feel my pulse tremble. It is not in our Northern blood to give ...
— The Iron Game - A Tale of the War • Henry Francis Keenan



Words linked to "Degrade" :   cheapen, chagrin, mortify, dehumanize, aggravate, take down, humiliate, disgrace, demean, dehumanise, devalue, degradation, exasperate, put down, devaluate, worsen, reduce



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