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Debase   /dəbˈeɪs/   Listen
Debase

verb
(past & past part. debased; pres. part. debasing)
1.
Corrupt morally or by intemperance or sensuality.  Synonyms: corrupt, debauch, demoralise, demoralize, deprave, misdirect, pervert, profane, subvert, vitiate.  "Socrates was accused of corrupting young men" , "Do school counselors subvert young children?" , "Corrupt the morals"
2.
Lower in value by increasing the base-metal content.  Synonym: alloy.
3.
Corrupt, debase, or make impure by adding a foreign or inferior substance; often by replacing valuable ingredients with inferior ones.  Synonyms: adulterate, dilute, load, stretch.



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"Debase" Quotes from Famous Books



... allures: Nor yet despise it; for this poor abode Has oft received, and yet receives a God; A God victorious of the Stygian race Here laid his sacred limbs, and sanctified the place, 710 This mean retreat did mighty Pan contain: Be emulous of him, and pomp disdain, And dare not to debase your soul to gain. ...
— The Poetical Works of John Dryden, Vol I - With Life, Critical Dissertation, and Explanatory Notes • John Dryden

... if I ever knew Court chaplains thus lawn sleeves pursue? I meddle not with gown or lawn; I, therefore, have no need to fawn. If they must soothe a patron's ear, Not I—I was not born to bear; All base conditions I refuse, Nor will I so debase the muse. ...
— Fables of John Gay - (Somewhat Altered) • John Gay

... temporary relief from severe thought and action, but as the very end of existence. And whence is their excitement derived? From the most contemptible and silly frivolities, from balls, parties, visits, and gossip without end—excitements utterly selfish, which materialise the soul, debase its tastes, enervate its powers, rendering it incapable of all earnest labours or self-denial, and which incapacitate it from apprehending the purity, the majesty, and the surpassing wonder of spiritual realities. These are the ...
— Parish Papers • Norman Macleod

... 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; ...
— Virginibus Puerisque • Robert Louis Stevenson

... manner as the historical painter never enters into the detail of colours, so neither does he debase his conceptions with minute attention to the discriminations of drapery. It is the inferior style that marks the variety of stuffs. With him, the clothing is neither woollen, nor linen, nor silk, satin, ...
— Seven Discourses on Art • Joshua Reynolds

... 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

... to the last phrase, as being low. JOHNSON. 'Sir, it is intended to be low: it is satire. The expression is debased, to debase the character.' ...
— Life Of Johnson, Volume 5 • Boswell

... proof 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 the eye may incline them to do. "Their right hand is the right hand of falsehood." ...
— Life and Labors of Elder John Kline, the Martyr Missionary - Collated from his Diary by Benjamin Funk • John Kline

... 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 epithets ...
— The Last Days of Pompeii • Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

... that M. Bergson's system precludes ethics: I cannot think that observation just. Apart from the moral inspiration which appears throughout his philosophy, which is indeed a passionate attempt to exalt (or debase) values into powers, it offers, I should say, two starting-points for ethics. In the first place, the elan vital ought not to falter, although it can do so: therefore to persevere, labour, experiment, propagate, ...
— Winds Of Doctrine - Studies in Contemporary Opinion • George Santayana

... in your power, of 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 will be able now to show the hatred it feels for you, to defy your rage, and convince ...
— Don Garcia of Navarre • Moliere

... howe'er inclined, Will deign to own a kindred care? Who will debase his manly mind, For friendship every ...
— My Recollections of Lord Byron • Teresa Guiccioli

... a similar fate must have overtaken Yoshisada, had not one of those 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 themselves in battle not so much to save the life of a commanding officer, ...
— A History of the Japanese People - From the Earliest Times to the End of the Meiji Era • Frank Brinkley and Dairoku Kikuchi

... believe—without pedantry and without leaving the tone of familiar converse. Sometimes we read verses, but we never make them; we love the ancients and do not fear the moderns: we only fear those who would lower the mind and debase the heart. We love the past while we render justice to the present; and flatter ourselves at not seeing many things that to you appear beautiful, ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... some atheists. If the Theist thinks himself allied to and connected with the Deity he may plume himself upon his station; but how apt are those worshipers of a God, instead of having a high sense of personal dignity, to debase themselves into the most abject beings, dreading even the shadow of their own phantom. An atheist feeling himself to be a link in the grand chain of Nature, feels his relative importance and dreads no imaginary ...
— Answer to Dr. Priestley's Letters to a Philosophical Unbeliever • Matthew Turner

... with due subordination to the 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 interior is to become virtually ...
— On the Old Road, Vol. 2 (of 2) - A Collection of Miscellaneous Essays and Articles on Art and Literature • John Ruskin

... her way, and she set the fashion: fashion, which converts the ugliest dress into what is beautiful and charming, governs the public mode in morals and in manners; and thus, when great talents and high rank combine, they can debase or elevate the ...
— Tales and Novels, Vol. 6 • Maria Edgeworth

... A peculiar circumstance is occurring at this moment which renders my presence of some use to him: this is not the time to speak of my departure. I am also at present engaged in an interesting correspondence with the president of congress. The desire to debase England, to promote the advantage of my own country, and the happiness of humanity, which is strongly interested in the existence of one perfectly free nation, all induces me not to depart at the moment when my absence might ...
— Memoirs, Correspondence and Manuscripts of General Lafayette • Lafayette

... 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

... of the controversionalists, on this occasion, I certainly had no disposition to debase my mind, or to descend from the level of a gentleman who was compelled to bow before no political master, in order to retort in kind; but as is apt to be the case under provocations of this sort, the charge induced me to look about, in order to see what advantages the subjects of a ...
— A Residence in France - With An Excursion Up The Rhine, And A Second Visit To Switzerland • J. Fenimore Cooper

... a truth that it was God's will. I never found any soul rest until I wrote to Mrs. Nation, and told her the time was ripe for God and that we must attack Mahan's Wholesale Liquor House, that was helping to degrade so many women and debase so many men. This resulted in an attempt to carry out God's ...
— The Use and Need of the Life of Carry A. Nation • Carry A. Nation

... philosopher:—'I hope I shall not depart from the simplicity of official language, in saying that the Majesty of Justice ought to be approached with solicitation, not descend to provoke or invite it, much less to debase itself by the suggestion of wrongs and the promise of redress, with the denunciation of punishment before trial, and even before accusation.' This is the exhortation which Mr. Hastings makes to his counsel. This is the character which he gives ...
— Memoirs of the Life of Rt. Hon. Richard Brinsley Sheridan Vol 2 • Thomas Moore

... 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

... urne Like Ghosts of Murdred bodyes doth returne To accuse the Murderers, to right the Stage, And undeceive the long abused Age, Which casts thy praise on them, to whom thy Wit Gives not more Gold then they give drosse to it: Who not content like fellons to purloyne, Adde Treason to it, and debase thy Coyne. But whither am I strayd? I need not raise Trophies to thee from other Mens dispraise; Nor is thy fame on lesser Ruines built, Nor needs thy juster title the foule guilt Of Easterne Kings, who to ...
— The Works of Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher in Ten Volumes - Volume I. • Beaumont and Fletcher

... he could have felt formerly. It was, indeed, wholly beyond the power, even of an imagination like his, to go on investing with its own ideal glories a sentiment which,—more from daring and vanity than from any other impulse,—he had taken such pains to tarnish and debase in his own eyes. Accordingly, instead of being able, as once, to elevate and embellish all that interested him, to make an idol of every passing creature of his fancy, and mistake the form of love, which he so often conjured up, for its substance, he now degenerated into the wholly opposite ...
— Life of Lord Byron, With His Letters And Journals, Vol. 5 (of 6) • (Lord Byron) George Gordon Byron

... do 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

... sorrow, or of the helplessness that comes with years and sickness, never crosses their minds. In these respects, they resemble the savage tribes, who know no better, and do no worse. Like the North American Indians, they debase themselves by the vices which accompany civilization, but make no use whatever ...
— Thrift • Samuel Smiles

... lose, I would have rode in Triumph o'er their Tombs. But thus to die, the Martyrs of their Folly, Involv'd in all the complicated Guilt Of Treason, Murder, Falsehood, and Deceit, Unbridled Passion, Cowardice, Revenge, And every Thing that can debase the Man, And render him the just Contempt of all, And fix the foulest Stain of Infamy, Beyond the Power of Time to blot it out; This is too much; and my griev'd Spirit sinks Beneath the Weight of such gigantic ...
— Ponteach - The Savages of America • Robert Rogers

... according to the imperfect knowledge of his time—is admirable; his inaccuracies are few: his general accuracy, allowing for the distinction between the narrative and the dramatic form, is acknowledged to be wonderful. He did not steal the precious material from the treasury of history, to debase its purity,—new-stamp it arbitrarily with effigies and legends of his own devising and then attempt to pass it current, like Dryden, Racine, and the rest of those poetical coiners: he only rubbed off the rust, purified and brightened ...
— Characteristics of Women - Moral, Poetical, and Historical • Anna Jameson

... justified the rebuke he administered to Reynolds, when the latter painted an allegorical picture representing the triumph of Beattie and Truth over Voltaire and Scepticism. "It very ill becomes a man of your eminence and character," he said, "to debase so high a genius as Voltaire before so mean a writer as Beattie. Beattie and his book will be forgotten in ten years, while Voltaire's fame will last for ever. Take care it does not perpetuate this picture, to the ...
— Goldsmith - English Men of Letters Series • William Black

... 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, are dragged down to the slimy gutter to ...
— Quiet Talks on Power • S.D. Gordon

... will; but let him not stake his all on success in that pursuit, but have a second line to fall back upon if driven from his first. Let him be so reared and trained that he may enter, if he will, upon some intellectual calling in the sustaining consciousness that he need not debase himself, nor do violence to his convictions, in order to achieve success therein, since he can live and thrive in another (if you choose, humbler) vocation, if driven from that of his choice. This buttress to integrity, this assurance of self-respect, ...
— McGuffey's Sixth Eclectic Reader • William Holmes McGuffey

... greatest possible dignity and purity. We believe that with the establishment of truth and justice in the practical affairs of society; with the guarantee of pecuniary independence to all persons, the most fatal temptations to debase and profane this relation will be removed.... But to purer and nobler generations more upright, honorable and generous, we leave all legislation on this subject. It is for us to maintain the ...
— Brook Farm • John Thomas Codman

... of expatriating itself again, or consent to live among us, is no concern of ours. The sacred cause of liberty, and of our independence, will no longer suffer from their fatal influence. They have endeavoured to debase our military glory; but they have found themselves mistaken. This glory is the fruit of labours too noble for us to lose the remembrance of it. Soldiers! those days are no more, when nations were governed by stifling their rights. Liberty is at length triumphant and ...
— Memoirs of the Private Life, Return, and Reign of Napoleon in 1815, Vol. I • Pierre Antoine Edouard Fleury de Chaboulon

... 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 characteristics ...
— The Federalist Papers • Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison

... your proclaiming virtue over the vice we acknowledge belongs to the institution. We know its defects-we fear them; but, in the name of heaven, do not defend them at the cost of virtue, truth, honesty. Do not debase us by proclaiming its glories over our heads;-do not take advantage of us by attempting to make wrong right." The deacon's feelings have become earnest; his face glows ...
— Our World, or, The Slaveholders Daughter • F. Colburn Adams

... but I can imagine no case where what is called corporal 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 ...
— The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll, Volume VIII. - Interviews • Robert Green Ingersoll

... I saw you had gone to your 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 before. But I was ...
— 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

... guile, the courts of Europe were only too ready to listen to his advice. In fact, they carried their mutual attempts at deception to a point that was not only harmful to themselves, but ridiculous, making it a principle to violate oaths and to debase the currency of good faith in every possible way. There was also much untruth in private life. Unfortunately, lying in the interests of piety was justified by Luther, while the Jesuits made a soul-rotting art ...
— The Age of the Reformation • Preserved Smith

... 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 to ...
— The Woman Who Did • Grant Allen

... Christianity, which was, that all men are by nature equal; that they are wisely and justly endowed by their Creator with certain rights which are irrefragable, and no matter how human pride and avarice may depress and debase, still God is the author of good to man; and of evil, man is the artificer to himself and to his species. Unlike Plato and Socrates, his mind was free from the gloom that surrounded theirs. Let the name, the worth, the zeal, ...
— Autographs for Freedom, Volume 2 (of 2) (1854) • Various

... and public questions. This is a mischief which has reached, already, an alarming height. The principle of republican governments, we are taught, is public virtue; and whatever tends either to corrupt this principle, to debase it, or to weaken its force, tends, in the same degree, to the final overthrow of such governments. Our representative systems suppose, that, in exercising the high right of suffrage, the greatest of all political rights, and in forming opinions on great public measures, ...
— The Great Speeches and Orations of Daniel Webster • Daniel Webster

... afraid when we send a young man from the Schools into active life, lest he should indulge his appetites intemperately, lest he should debase himself by ragged clothing, or be puffed up by fine raiment? Knows he not the God within him; knows he not with whom he is starting on his way? Have we patience to hear him say to us, Would I had ...
— The Golden Sayings of Epictetus • Epictetus

... mix with earth, And thus debase my heavenly birth? Why should I cleave to things below, And let my God, my ...
— Hymns for Christian Devotion - Especially Adapted to the Universalist Denomination • J.G. Adams

... friendly place, Where each presents a brother's face, Where frowns or anger ne'er debase! O! ...
— The Poetry of Wales • John Jenkins

... 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 me. I am ...
— Werwolves • Elliott O'Donnell

... and love on Polly, Charlotte Bronte could not possibly have meant to debase her and efface her. How then did it happen that Polly was debased and ...
— The Three Brontes • May Sinclair

... believed in and the man and the woman who had your passionate love, your absolute faith, have your revenge upon the One—as upon those two others. Degrade, cast down, deface, the image of your Maker in you. Hurl back every gift of His, prostitute and debase every faculty. Cease to believe, denying His Being with the Will He forged and freed. Your Body, is it not your own, to do with as you choose? Your Soul, is it not your helpless prisoner, while you keep it in ...
— The Dop Doctor • Clotilde Inez Mary Graves

... imperial army, which 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 France could ...
— The Empire of Austria; Its Rise and Present Power • John S. C. Abbott

... the surprize to find so much gallantry and courage in a Man of his mean birth, that has caused this disorder in my Soul—were he my Equal I should think it was Love had seized me, but Oh! far be it from me to debase myself so far—Yet, again would she retort, what can I wish in Man that is not to be found in this too lovely Slave?... Besides, who knows but that his Descent may be otherwise than he pretends—I have heard of Princes who have wandered in strange disguises—he ...
— The Life and Romances of Mrs. Eliza Haywood • George Frisbie Whicher

... production, is to forget that the products of industry are made for man, not man for industrial products; to ignore the close relationship between their fruitful investigations and the whole circle of the moral sciences; to debase them and ...
— Principles Of Political Economy • William Roscher

... of a canker'd heart That can debase the excellence of art, Nor great in titles makes our worth obey, Since we have lines far more esteem'd than they. For there is hidden in a poet's name A spell that can command the wings of Fame, And maugre all oblivion's hated birth Begin their immortality ...
— Specimens with Memoirs of the Less-known British Poets, Complete • George Gilfillan

... security, without any sordid worry, gave freedom to his imagination. There was something stimulating in the atmosphere of books and manuscripts and in that world of letters which seems so large to those who live in it. Fortunately, also, having a support, he was not tempted to debase his talent by sensational ventures. What he wrote for this or that magazine he wrote to please himself, and, although he saw no fortune that way, the little he received was an encouragement as well as an appreciable addition ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... 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 ...
— A Man's Value to Society - Studies in Self Culture and Character • Newell Dwight Hillis

... lad I had been. "Well but" (thinks I, excusing myself) "the plantations and a rowing-bench be a school where a man is apt to learn nought but evil and brutality, my wrongs have made me what I am. But again" (thinks I—blaming myself) "wrong and hardship, cruelty and suffering do not debase all men, as witness the brave Frenchman that was whipped to death beside me in the 'Esmeralda' galleass. Wrong and suffering either lift a man to greatness, or debase him to the very brute! She had said as much ...
— Black Bartlemy's Treasure • Jeffrey Farnol

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

... lasted a whole year. He was naturally desirous to improve his worldly position; but never did it occur to him to do so at the expense of his immaculate character. Veitel Ephraim and his associates, employed by Frederick the Great to debase the coin of Prussia, made him brilliant offers in the hope of gaining him as their partner. He could not be tempted, and entered into a binding engagement with Bernhard. His married life was happy, he was sincerely in love with his wife, and she ...
— Jewish Literature and Other Essays • Gustav Karpeles

... 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 having a Wife and Children, and ...
— Franco-Gallia • Francis Hotoman

... passages which attribute to God hands, feet, &c., and take them merely as figures of speech. (13) Such is the opinion of Alpakhar. In so far as he seeks to explain Scripture by Scripture, I praise him, but I marvel that a man gifted with reason should wish to debase that faculty. (14) It is true that Scripture should be explained by Scripture, so long as we are in difficulties about the meaning and intention of the prophets, but when we have elicited the true meaning, we must of necessity make use of our judgment and reason ...
— A Theologico-Political Treatise [Part III] • Benedict de Spinoza

... control. He had been a Democrat. But he had seen the importance of the protective policy to American interests, as would naturally be expected of a descendant of that high protectionist, Thomas Jefferson. He had no sympathies with any measures that would debase or unsettle the currency, and set his face and gave his powerful influence against all forms of fiat or irredeemable paper money, and the kindred folly of the free coinage of silver by this country alone, without the concurrence of the commercial nations ...
— Autobiography of Seventy Years, Vol. 1-2 • George Hoar

... 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 ...
— The Necessity of Atheism • Dr. D.M. Brooks

... or indifferent one, which makes few faults, but seldom or never rises to any excellence. He compares the first to a man of large possessions, who has not leisure to consider of every slight expence, will not debase himself to the management of every trifle: Particular sums are not laid out, or spared, to the greatest advantage in his economy; but are sometimes suffered to run to waste, while he is only careful of the main. On the other side, he likens the mediocrity of wit, to one of a mean fortune, ...
— The Works of John Dryden, Volume 5 (of 18) - Amboyna; The state of Innocence; Aureng-Zebe; All for Love • John Dryden

... 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 the door of the future ...
— Psychology and Social Sanity • Hugo Muensterberg

... odious, I neither parallel them with others, nor debase them any more: men and women are both bad, and too subject to this pernicious infirmity. It is most part a symptom and cause of melancholy, as Plater and Valescus teach us: melancholy men are apt to be jealous, and ...
— The Anatomy of Melancholy • Democritus Junior

... 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 ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... Demon,[187] who is vexing me With pilfering pranks and petty pains, below The feeling of the healthful and the free; But much to One, who long hath suffered so, Sickness of heart, and narrowness of place, And all that may be borne, or can debase. I thought mine enemies had been but Man, But Spirits may be leagued with them—all Earth Abandons—Heaven forgets me;—in the dearth 200 Of such defence the Powers of Evil can— It may be—tempt me further,—and prevail Against ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 4 • Lord Byron

... and debauch the public morals, by removing all the conscientious impediments which religion places against crime, and consequently all scruple in committing it. Heretofore, those vile societies of a secret nature, that disgrace the country and debase the character of her people, existed frequently under separate denominations, and for distinct objects. Now, however, they all consented to abandon these peculiar purposes, and to coalesce into one great conspiracy ...
— The Tithe-Proctor - The Works of William Carleton, Volume Two • William Carleton

... 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 ...
— Searchlights on Health: Light on Dark Corners • B.G. Jefferis

... 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 ...
— The Malady of the Century • Max Nordau

... "you should not interfere in these matters. You simply debase you husband's high office. The distaff were more fitting for you. My lord, good morning." And before either of them could speak again, he was out of the room, and through the hall, and beyond the gate, and standing beneath the ...
— The Last Chronicle of Barset • Anthony Trollope

... in which the Greenlanders transport their families, are always rowed by women; for a man will not debase himself by work, which requires neither skill nor courage. Anningait was therefore exposed by idleness to the ravages of passion. He went thrice to the stern of the boat, with an intent to leap into the water, and swim back to his mistress; but, recollecting the misery which ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson, LL.D, In Nine Volumes - Volume the Third: The Rambler, Vol. II • Samuel Johnson

... flask that he used 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, after what had just transpired, ...
— From Wealth to Poverty • Austin Potter

... often called an honorable vice, because its aspirations are lofty, because it supposes strength, and tends directly to elevate man, rather than to debase and degrade him, like the other vices. Yet pride is compatible with every meanness. It lodges in the heart of the pauper as well as in that of the prince. There is nothing contemptible that it will not do to satisfy itself; and although its prime malice is to ...
— Explanation of Catholic Morals - A Concise, Reasoned, and Popular Exposition of Catholic Morals • John H. Stapleton

... necessary at present to notice a particular form of the ideas of power, which is partially independent of knowledge of truth, or difficulty, and which is apt to corrupt the judgment of the critic, and debase the work of the artist. It is evident that the conception of power which we receive from a calculation of unseen difficulty, and an estimate of unseen strength, can never be so impressive as that which we receive from the present sensation or sight of ...
— Modern Painters Volume I (of V) • John Ruskin

... his country friends, that it savored of mercenariness, amounting to villainy, it is to be said, on his behalf, that he was simply practicing the morals that Mr. Belcher had taught him. Mr. Belcher had not failed to debauch or debase the moral standard of every man over whom he had any direct influence. If Talbot had practiced his little game upon any other man, Mr. Belcher would have patted his shoulder and told him he was a "jewel." So much of Mr. Belcher's wealth ...
— Sevenoaks • J. G. Holland

... not granted; and yet their own treatment of Jehovah, though rather more respectful, is equally ridiculous. When praying, they lay aside truth, sincerity, and sanity. Their language is the language of fawning, lying, imbecile, cowardly slaves. Intending to exalt, they debase the imaginary object of their adoration. They presume Him to be unstable as themselves, and no less greedy of adulation than Themistocles the Athenian, who, when presiding at certain games of his countrymen, was asked which voice pleased him best? 'That,' replied he, 'which sings my praises.' ...
— An Apology for Atheism - Addressed to Religious Investigators of Every Denomination - by One of Its Apostles • Charles Southwell

... 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 ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 16, No. 97, November, 1865 • Various

... failed to appreciate; at all events, they had little in common, and what was called Lady Montfort's haughtiness was perhaps but the dignity with which a woman of grand nature checks the pity that would debase her—the admiration that would sully—guards her own beauty, and protects her husband's name. Here we are. Will you stay for a few minutes in the boat, while I go to prepare Lady ...
— What Will He Do With It, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... weal, was driven into the contest mainly by a necessity to save himself. The calm disinterestedness which marks the career of Washington was wholly wanting in the Swedish king. His readiness to debase the currency, his efforts to humiliate the bishops, his confiscation of Church property, his intimacy with foreign courtiers,—all show a desire for personal aggrandizement inconsistent with an earnest longing to benefit his race. One must regret that the rare talents which he ...
— The Swedish Revolution Under Gustavus Vasa • Paul Barron Watson

... endured the privations, sufferings and 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

... The nobles, meanwhile, looking alone to the 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 to ...
— The Scottish Chiefs • Miss Jane Porter

... 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 are, for ...
— The Wallet of Kai Lung • Ernest Bramah

... It never talks, for the sake of some secular, or treacherous purpose, of seeking the Lord.—It judges not its neighbour's heart.—It boasts not of its early provocations and present acceptance, nor does it debase the doctrine of Providence, by low and familiar applications of Almighty interposition to its own trivial concerns; applications which argue, not religious thankfulness, but self-importance. It is careful never ...
— The Loyalists, Vol. 1-3 - An Historical Novel • Jane West

... said 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. Even the officers of this ...
— Rattlin the Reefer • Edward Howard

... midst of Olympus, for he has altered the face of the earth and accomplished works which make the creation more perfect. The President of the Court of Appeal has immortalised himself by condemning Ferdinand de Lesseps, for the nations will always demand the name of the man who was not afraid to debase his century by investing with the convict's cap an aged man, whose life redounded to the glory of ...
— The Crowd • Gustave le Bon

... English Ministry, in order to have them restored to them, 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 that, a ...
— The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, Vol. IX • Various

... do debase ourselves, cousin, do we not, To look so poorly and to speak so fair? Shall we call back Northumberland, and send Defiance to the traitor, ...
— The Tragedy of King Richard II • William Shakespeare [Craig, Oxford edition]

... that a profusion of animal food has a tendency to vitiate and debase the nature and dispositions of men; notwithstanding, the lovers of flesh urge the names of many of the most eminent in literature and science, in opposition to ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, No. 358 - Vol. XIII, No. 358., Saturday, February 28, 1829 • Various

... the stage, And undeceive the long-abused age, Which casts thy praise on them, to whom thy wit Gives not more gold than they give dross to it; Who not content, like felons, to purloin, Add treason to it, and debase the coin. But whither am I stray'd? I need not raise Trophies to thee from other men's dispraise; 20 Nor is thy fame on lesser ruins built, Nor needs thy juster title the foul guilt Of eastern kings, who, to secure their reign, Must have their brothers, sons, and kindred ...
— Poetical Works of Edmund Waller and Sir John Denham • Edmund Waller; John Denham

... courtezans 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 for that ...
— Sketches of the Fair Sex, in All Parts of the World • Anonymous

... of duty, and was a stranger to self-command; and though she boasted refinement of mind, yet it was of that spurious sort which, far from elevating and purifying the heart, tends only to corrupt and debase the soul, while it sheds a false and dazzling lustre upon those perishable graces ...
— Marriage • Susan Edmonstone Ferrier

... at her sisterly pride in him that he should, even by implication, debase himself, noting inequality of station between himself and her. She held the worldly aspects of the matter in contempt. They angered her, so that she impulsively banished reserve. Leaning forward, she bent her head, putting her lips to the image of the flying sea-bird—which so intrigued ...
— Deadham Hard • Lucas Malet

... bestowed on the cultivators of literature; to the emulation excited among the generous youth, by exhibitions of their performances at the solemn games; to an inattention to the arts of lucre and commerce, which engross and debase the minds of the moderns; and above all, to an exemption from the necessity of overloading their natural faculties with learning and languages, with which we in these later times are obliged to qualify ourselves, for writers, if ...
— Essays on Wit No. 2 • Richard Flecknoe and Joseph Warton

... from this study is unceasing, and so various, that it never tires the appetite. But it is unlike the low gratifications of sense in another respect: it elevates and refines our nature, while those hurt the health, debase the understanding, and corrupt the feelings; it teaches us to look upon all earthly objects as insignificant and below our notice, except the pursuit of knowledge and the cultivation of virtue, that is to say, the strict performance of our duty in every relation of society; and it gives ...
— The Idea of a University Defined and Illustrated: In Nine - Discourses Delivered to the Catholics of Dublin • John Henry Newman

... complete play that he adapted has been found. At any rate, the discussion has no real bearing on our subject, since we can consider only the plays as actually transmitted; their sources cannot affect our argument. The comparisons in Daos seem to indicate that Plautus did not debase his originals so much as Mommsen, KArting, Schlegel and others had thought. Even in 1881, Kiessling (Anal. Plaut. II. 9) boldly expresses the opinion: "Atque omnino Plautus multo pressius Atticorum exemplarium vestigia ...
— The Dramatic Values in Plautus • William Wallace Blancke

... trickster on the platform—far from it!—but don't kill your speech with dignity. To be icily correct is as silly as to rant. Do neither, but appeal to those world-old elements in your audience that have been recognized by all great speakers from Demosthenes to Sam Small, and see to it that you never debase your powers by ...
— The Art of Public Speaking • Dale Carnagey (AKA Dale Carnegie) and J. Berg Esenwein

... of God, are content 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, ...
— The Theological Tractates and The Consolation of Philosophy • Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius

... Mulberry Hawk—if such a term can be applied to the thoughts of the systematic and calculating man of dissipation, whose joys, regrets, pains, and pleasures, are all of self, and who would seem to retain nothing of the intellectual faculty but the power to debase himself, and to degrade the very nature whose outward semblance he wears—the reflections of Sir Mulberry Hawk turned upon Kate Nickleby, and were, in brief, that she was undoubtedly handsome; that her coyness MUST be easily ...
— The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby • Charles Dickens

... rather than slave.... Were not the disadvantages of slavery too obvious to stand in need of it, I might enumerate and describe the tedious train of calamities inseparable from it. I might show that it is fatal to religion and morality; that it tends to debase the mind, and corrupt its noblest springs of action. I might show that it relaxes the sinews of industry and clips the wings of commerce, and works misery and indigence in every shape."—HAMILTON, Works, ...
— Abraham Lincoln • George Haven Putnam

... who yielded to them. For even supposing that such groaning could give any ease, it still should be considered whether it were consistent with a brave and resolute man. But if it does not ease our pain, why should we debase ourselves to no purpose? For what is more unbecoming in a man than to cry like a woman? But this precept which is laid down with respect to pain is not confined to it. We should apply this exertion of the soul to everything else. Is anger inflamed? is lust excited? ...
— Cicero's Tusculan Disputations - Also, Treatises On The Nature Of The Gods, And On The Commonwealth • Marcus Tullius Cicero

... Siegmund.' She stroked his face, and kissed him softly. Siegmund lay in the molten daze of love. But Helena was, if it is not to debase the word, virtuous: an inconsistent virtue, ...
— The Trespasser • D.H. Lawrence

... 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 ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 11, - No. 22, January, 1873 • Various

... 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 mind of a murderer, should his heart ...
— The Trials of the Soldier's Wife - A Tale of the Second American Revolution • Alex St. Clair Abrams

... very worst possible reason for buying a book. Whether it is ever wise to buy a book, as Aulus Gellius used to do, simply because it is cheap, and regardless of its condition, is a debatable point, but to buy one dear at the mere bidding of a bookseller is to debase yourself. The result of this ungodly traffic has been to enlarge for the moment the circle of book-buyers by including in it men with commercial instincts, sham hobbyists. But these impostors have been lately punished ...
— In the Name of the Bodleian and Other Essays • Augustine Birrell

... art, public walks, gardens, and museums; the comparative influence of all these upon the health, strength, courage, activity, humanity, refinement and happiness of society; how people may be led to prefer such as tend to general well-being to those which have a tendency to brutalize and debase. All these also should be dwelt ...
— The Philosophy of Teaching - The Teacher, The Pupil, The School • Nathaniel Sands

... to unite firmly with the object of forming a noble society, not based upon blood nor pompous titles, but upon the work and personal merit of each one; a free society, where exist neither egotism nor personal politics which annihilate and crush, neither envy nor favoritism which debase, neither fanfaronade ...
— The Story of the Philippines and Our New Possessions, • Murat Halstead

... pressed inexactly, either too far, or else not far enough, 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 ...
— The Faith of the Millions (2nd series) • George Tyrrell

... man whom the sudden stare of Penury does not daunt and, in some measure, debase. Tarrant, whatever the possibilities of his nature, had fallen under a spell of indolent security, which declared its power only when he came face to face with the demand for vigorous action. The moment found him a sheer poltroon. 'What! Is it possible that I—I—am henceforth penniless? ...
— In the Year of Jubilee • George Gissing

... give ye a copy iv wan iv me books.' 'I will,' says th' la-ad, 'if he don't swing on me,' he says. The editor thin addhressed th' staff. 'Gintlemen,' he says, 'I find that th' wurruk ye've been accustomed to doin',' he says, 'is calc'lated f'r to disthroy th' morality an' debase th' home life iv Topeka, not to mintion th' surroundin' methrolopuses iv Valencia, Wanamaker, Sugar Works, Paxico an' Snokomo,' he says. 'Th' newspaper, instead iv bein' a pow'rful agent f'r th' salvation iv mankind, has become something that they want ...
— Mr. Dooley's Philosophy • Finley Peter Dunne

... polished at all times; no chewing, spitting, gazing about, or raising of hands in ranks—he should know his drill, his orders and his duties—he should always be ready and willing to learn all he can about his profession—he should never debase himself with drink. ...
— Manual of Military Training - Second, Revised Edition • James A. Moss

... not because it ennobles human nature; exercises free will, the most sublime of man's vital functions; cultivates his highest faculty,—conscience; purifies religion, the fundamental idea of mankind, from the superstitions that debase and dishonor it; sanctifies human society, by leading it to the knowledge and worship of God;—they love it because it abolishes Custom House duties! All legislation, all civilization, all religion, is reduced by them to a well-balanced ...
— Atheism Among the People • Alphonse de Lamartine

... that a numerous and enterprising generation of writers will follow and surpass the present one; but it would be better if the stream were stayed, and the roll of our old, honest English books were closed, than that esurient bookmakers should continue and debase a brave tradition, and lower, in their own eyes, a famous race. Better that our serene temples were deserted than filled with trafficking ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 16 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... 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 ...
— The Adventures of Hugh Trevor • Thomas Holcroft

... are slaying each other and it. If you choose to murder each other that is your affair: I can't help it. But where music is concerned,—hands off! I will not suffer you to debase the loveliness of the world by heaping up in the same basket things holy and things shameful, by giving, as you do at present, the prelude to Parsifal between a fantasia on the Daughter of the Regiment and a saxophone ...
— Jean-Christophe, Vol. I • Romain Rolland

... following year the 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 at Greenwich on Sunday, the 10th May, and soundly rated him—or, ...
— London and the Kingdom - Volume I • Reginald R. Sharpe

... set out to accomplish this dream by lowering the standards of poetry, then he would debase the public and be a traitor to his guild. But his method is uncompromising—he taught the harvester not Mrs. Hemans, but Swinburne. He calls his own verse the higher vaudeville. But The Congo is the higher vaudeville as Macbeth is the higher ...
— The Advance of English Poetry in the Twentieth Century • William Lyon Phelps

... 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 ...
— Horace • William Tuckwell



Words linked to "Debase" :   sensualise, profane, demoralise, doctor, doctor up, infect, extend, carnalise, bastardize, carnalize, alter, spoil, metallurgy, suborn, water down, lead off, devalue, bastardise, change, sensualize, lead astray, modify, poison, sophisticate, demoralize



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