verb (used with object), de·based, de·bas·ing.
- to reduce in quality or value; adulterate: They debased the value of the dollar.
- to lower in rank, dignity, or significance: He wouldn’t debase himself by doing manual labor.
- (tr) to lower in quality, character, or value, as by adding cheaper metal to coins; adulterate
v.1560s, from de- “down” + base (adj.) “low,” on analogy of abase (or, alternatively, from obsolete verb base “to abuse”).