verb (used with object)
- to corrupt by sensuality, intemperance, etc.; seduce.
- to corrupt or pervert; sully: His honesty was debauched by the prospect of easy money.
- Archaic. to lead away, as from allegiance or duty.
verb (used without object)
- to indulge in debauchery.
- a period of wanton or sensual self-indulgence.
- an uninhibited spree or party; orgy: a wild debauch.
- (when tr, usually passive) to lead into a life of depraved self-indulgence
- (tr) to seduce (a woman)
- an instance or period of extreme dissipation
1590s, from Middle French débaucher “entice from work or duty,” from Old French desbaucher “to lead astray,” supposedly literally “to trim (wood) to make a beam” (from bauch “beam,” from Frankish balk or some other Germanic source akin to English balk). A sense of “shaving” something away, perhaps, but the root is also said to be a word meaning “workshop,” which gets toward the notion of “to lure someone off the job;” either way the sense evolution is unclear.