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Degrade   /dɪgrˈeɪd/   Listen
Degrade

verb
(past & past part. degraded; pres. part. degrading)
1.
Reduce the level of land, as by erosion.
2.
Reduce in worth or character, usually verbally.  Synonyms: demean, disgrace, put down, take down.  "His critics took him down after the lecture"
3.
Lower the grade of something; reduce its worth.  Synonym: cheapen.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Degrade" Quotes from Famous Books



... simple idiot, a "natural," go at large. And so we had our first glimpse of what Utopia did with the feeble and insane. "We make all these distinctions between man and man, we exalt this and favour that, and degrade and seclude that; we make birth artificial, ...
— A Modern Utopia • H. G. Wells

... Father, in the House of thy Rest, as thou hast sworn to do. O Amen my Father, thou seest my strait. Is it thy will that thy daughter should degrade herself and thee before this man who slew his king and brother, to whom thou hast commanded her to give the name of husband? If it be so, I will obey; but if it be not so, then show thy word by might or marvel, and cause him and his folk ...
— Morning Star • H. Rider Haggard

... a Cynic—why, what a monstrous Cynicism it is, which you and the rest of you men of the world admit! I'd rather live upon raw turnips and sleep in a hollow tree, or turn backwoodsman or savage, than degrade myself to this civilisation, and own that a French cook was the thing in ...
— The History of Pendennis • William Makepeace Thackeray

... in them which can mar, they also have 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

... done that Horace should have prayed the gods to strip her of her charms, and to degrade her from a haughty beauty into a maudlin hag, disgusting and ridiculous? Why cast such very merciless stones at one who, by his own avowal, had erewhile witched his very soul from him? Why rejoice to see this once beautiful ...
— Horace • Theodore Martin

... appear to have been elected. There were also recognised in the Spartan constitution two distinct classes—the Equals and the Inferiors. Though these were hereditary divisions, merit might promote a member of the last—demerit degrade a member of the first. The Inferiors, though not boasting the nobility of the Equals, often possessed men equally honoured and powerful: as among the commoners of England are sometimes found persons of higher birth and more important station ...
— Athens: Its Rise and Fall, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... from intoxicating drinks! These degrade women and she degrades men. "Rise up ye women who are at ease in Zion!" The drinking places in the cities, especially in New York, by every device get women in their dens that they ...
— The Use and Need of the Life of Carry A. Nation • Carry A. Nation

... centre of a whole system of myths. The Poema del Cid, written in the latter half of the 12th century, has scarcely any trace of a historical character. Already the Cid had reached his apotheosis, and Castilian loyalty could not consent to degrade him when ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 3 - "Chitral" to "Cincinnati" • Various

... reflected upon the words, the more of artifice, of duplicity, of ingratitude, of insult, of meanness she discovered in them. In her cold fits of ill-humour, this lady was prone to degrade, as monsters below the standard of humanity, those whom, in the warmth of her enthusiasm, she had exalted to the state of angelic perfection. Emilie, though aware that she had unwittingly offended, was not aware how ...
— Tales and Novels, Vol. 6 • Maria Edgeworth

... be perhaps, who will dispute his claim to the title of an Epic Poet; and will endeavour to degrade him even to the rank of a ballad-monger. But I, as his Commentator, will contend for the dignity of my Author; and will plainly demonstrate his Poem to be an Epic Poem, agreeable to the example of all Poets, and the ...
— Parodies of Ballad Criticism (1711-1787) • William Wagstaffe

... feelings, or whatever the occasion for them, you degrade yourself by such an exhibition ...
— California Sketches, Second Series • O. P. Fitzgerald

... daughter, our dear 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

... Paine to deter others. The church used painting, music, and architecture simply to degrade mankind. But there are men that nothing can awe. There have been at all times brave spirits that dared even the gods. Some proud head has always been above the waves. Old Diogenes, with his mantle upon him, stiff ...
— Lectures of Col. R. G. Ingersoll - Latest • Robert Green Ingersoll

... trust always to be. But that is only my calling, not me. I—John Halifax—am just the same, whether in the tan-yard or Dr. Jessop's drawing-room. The one position cannot degrade, nor the other elevate, me. I should not 'respect myself' if I ...
— John Halifax, Gentleman • Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

... places were taken by a number of courtiers and the ladies, if I can so describe them of the royal household, but for obvious reasons I will not describe the style of their dancing. It was barbarism run mad, and our chief feeling was disgust that human beings should so degrade themselves. ...
— The Two Supercargoes - Adventures in Savage Africa • W.H.G. Kingston

... the last numbers of the Sangamon Journal, articles of the most personal nature and calculated to degrade me have made their appearance. On inquiring, I was informed by the editor of that paper, through the medium of my friend General Whitesides, that you are the author of those articles. This information satisfies me that I have become ...
— The Papers And Writings Of Abraham Lincoln, Complete - Constitutional Edition • Abraham Lincoln

... 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

... Guiccioli, the wife of one of the richest nobles of Italy,—young, beautiful, and interesting. This love seems to have been disinterested and lasting; and while it was a violation of all the rules of morality, and would not have been allowed in any other country than Italy, it did not further degrade him. It was pretty much such a love as Voltaire had for Madame de Chatelet; and with it he was at last content. There is no evidence that Byron ever afterward loved any other woman; and what is very singular about the affair ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume XIII • John Lord

... any higher idea of happiness than a drunken debauch. While as for fashionable morality the less you say about it the better. And the worst of the lot are among the canting ones. The Strongs and their set at least are decent people. Wealth and poverty both seem to degrade most of us." ...
— The Workingman's Paradise - An Australian Labour Novel • John Miller

... because they don't know what real amusement is! Laughter and prayer are the two noblest habits of man; they mark us off from the brutes. To laugh at cheap jests is as base as to pray to cheap gods. To laugh at Fatty Arbuckle is to degrade the ...
— The Haunted Bookshop • Christopher Morley

... shun that one; to deny yourself the necessities of life, and your friends those poor little pleasures that you are yearning to bestow upon them—is it not a mental malady, a fever; is it not damnation itself? The thousand meannesses: how they degrade you; how they suck away your strength, your ambition, your faith! To see no openings before you, save ever darker gulfs of despair! I cannot hope to make you conceive such a hell: one must have been there ...
— Fountains In The Sand - Rambles Among The Oases Of Tunisia • Norman Douglas

... chapter of His Gospel, where we read, "Jesus, knowing that He came from God, and went to God, riseth from supper and began to wash the disciples' feet." It was because He knew His high dignity and His high destiny that He could stoop to the lowest place and that place could not degrade Him. ...
— Days of Heaven Upon Earth • Rev. A. B. Simpson

... of a beast of burden, man, her companion, must continue barbarous—Not a tyrant, for terrible as are the evils of irresponsible authority, with whomsoever it may be vested, in her hands it becomes the most tremendous instrument that Providence in its indignation can employ to crush, degrade, and utterly to paralyze the nations within its reach. The former position will readily be conceded; and the history of Rome under the Emperors, or of France during the last century, affords but too striking ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 54, No. 335, September 1843 • Various

... 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 not lessen ...
— The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume IV • Various

... gipsy tent mending my camp stool, I invited him to take a seat on the grass beside me. This was peremptorily refused: "he had never sat on the ground during the late chief's reign, and he was not going to degrade himself now." One of my men handed him a log of wood taken from the fire, and helped him out of the difficulty. When I offered him some cooked meat on a plate, he would not touch that either, but would ...
— Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa - Journeys and Researches in South Africa • David Livingstone

... official suicide: whether the theory of the responsibility of provincial Ministers to the provincial Parliament, and of the consequent duty of the Governor to remain absolutely neutral in the strife of political parties, had not a necessary tendency to degrade his office into that of a mere Roi faineant. He had in 1849, as Sir C. Adderley expresses it, 'maintained the principle of responsible Government at the risk of his life.' Was the result of his hard-won victory only to empty himself ...
— Letters and Journals of James, Eighth Earl of Elgin • James, Eighth Earl of Elgin

... and his colleagues, and paying back with usury all that Ewing had said, when everybody thought and believed that he was digging his own grave; for it was known that Ewing would not quietly pocket any insinuations that would degrade him personally. I recollect his reply to Lincoln well. After addressing the Speaker, he turned to the Sangamon delegation, who all sat in the same portion of the house, and said: 'Gentlemen, have you no other champion than this coarse and vulgar fellow to bring ...
— The Every-day Life of Abraham Lincoln • Francis Fisher Browne

... with his 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; ...
— Pius IX. And His Time • The Rev. AEneas MacDonell

... hundred young girls, mixed up with as many rough coarse men, carrying baskets of earth, some fifty rods, upon their head, for the purpose of filling up an embankment or road." "Heathenism, and paganized Christianity," he remarks, "degrade woman to a level with the slave." "In none of the slave States which I have visited," says Professor Stowe, "have I ever seen negro women drudging in such toilsome out of door labors, as fall to the lot of the laboring ...
— The Young Maiden • A. B. (Artemas Bowers) Muzzey

... deeply, against Mr Gresham, who had ever been so kind to her? Could she hope, was it possible, that a boy like Frank should be true to his first love? And, if he were true, if he were ready to go to the altar with her to-morrow, ought she to allow him to degrade himself by such ...
— Doctor Thorne • Anthony Trollope

... hills assume more rounded forms, and from the general obscurity, the palms, a tree made for moonlight, stand out in soft distinctness. At such a time we forget the foul crimes which disfigure the past, and the vices which degrade the present of this fair land, and can easily imagine ourselves in the garden where the yet unfallen progenitors of mankind walked under a firmament 'glowing with living sapphires,' and together hymned the praises ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. IV. October, 1863, No. IV. - Devoted to Literature and National Policy. • Various

... authority of these writers, we should conclude that the native was not a savage, at all, until the landing of the whites; and, instead of ascribing his atrocities to the state of barbarism in which he lived—thus indicating their only valid apology—we should degrade both the white and the red men, by attributing to the former all imaginable vices, and, to the latter, a peculiar aptitude in acquiring them. These mistakes are natural and excusable—as the man who kills another in self-defence is justifiable; but the Indian character is not the less ...
— Western Characters - or Types of Border Life in the Western States • J. L. McConnel

... took the place of the five Directors and found his political career at an end. He had amassed a large fortune and spent his later years in voluptuous ease. Among the men of the Revolution few did more than Barras to degrade that movement. His immorality in both public and private life was notorious and contributed in no small degree to the downfall of the Directory, and with it of the first French Republic. Despite his profession ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 3 - "Banks" to "Bassoon" • Various

... contempt applied to peers of low birth. The phrase arose in the reign of Charles VII., of France, when his son Louis (afterwards Louis XI.) created a host of riff-raff peers, such as tradesmen, farmers, and mechanics, in order to degrade the aristocracy, and thus weaken its influence in ...
— Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction and the Drama - A Revised American Edition of the Reader's Handbook, Vol. 3 • E. Cobham Brewer

... breathing-time, but a pause in the roar of the bloody tempest, let us improve it to remedy all wrongs at home; to educate our ignorant and neglected masses; to eradicate the vices that disgrace and degrade our nation; to build up the Church wherever it lies in ruins; to extend not so much Britain's empire as Christ's kingdom abroad, and so hasten forward the happy time when the Song of the Angels shall be echoed from every land, and the voices of the skies of Bethlehem shall be lost in the ...
— The Angels' Song • Thomas Guthrie

... 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

... theory may be 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 hereby implied? ...
— Modern Atheism under its forms of Pantheism, Materialism, Secularism, Development, and Natural Laws • James Buchanan

... then, in a freak, ostracized a man whom all admitted to be the meanest man in Athens. This was regarded as such a degradation of the institution, as well as such an honor to the mean man, that never thereafter did the Athenians degrade a good man, or honor a bad one, by a ...
— A General History for Colleges and High Schools • P. V. N. Myers

... is cheap because a low price is asked for it.—To say that a man is charitable because he subscribes to an hospital.—To keep a dog or a cat on short allowance, and complain of its being a thief.—To degrade human nature in the hope of improving it.—To praise the beauty of a woman's hair before you know whether it did not once belong to somebody else.—To expect that your tradespeople will give you long credit ...
— The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun; • Various

... faithful to his purpose: he made use of his residence in Prussia and the favor of the king to increase his fortune, and to injure and degrade, as far as possible, all those for whom the king manifested the slightest partiality. He not only added to his riches by the most abject niggardliness in his mode of life, thereby adding his pension to his capital, but by speculation in Saxon bonds, for which, in the beginning, he employed the ...
— Berlin and Sans-Souci • Louise Muhlbach

... kindlier sentiments here seem playing out in a sort of jubilee. Untied from set purposes and definite aims, the persons come forth with their hearts already tuned, and so have but to let off their redundant music. Envy, jealousy, avarice, revenge, all the passions that afflict and degrade society, they have left in the city behind them. And they have brought the intelligence and refinement of the Court without its vanities and vexations; so that the graces of art and the simplicities of nature meet together in joyous, loving sisterhood. A serene and mellow atmosphere of thought ...
— Shakespeare: His Life, Art, And Characters, Volume I. • H. N. Hudson

... up his pale face, twitching with nervousness, "I don't want to get free by playing tricks on a court of law. I know that fifteen or twenty years in prison would not leave me much worth living for, but I will not degrade myself by evading justice with delays and false affidavits. If you can do anything for me fairly and squarely, I should like to have ...
— The Mystery of Metropolisville • Edward Eggleston

... his marriage, learning of his financial troubles, she had offered to pay him well for a composition. He had said he could not conscientiously degrade his art for a price. So she paid his debts to the extent of three thousand roubles. This he could accept. These ...
— The Love Affairs of Great Musicians, Volume 2 • Rupert Hughes

... altogether in favour 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 ...
— Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher • S. T. Coleridge

... with your abominable hair-splitting and sophistry! Truth is truth; and never will I degrade it by identifying it with low pragmatic particulars ...
— The Meaning of Truth • William James

... which they stand. When we try to express perfect joy, a noble, spiritual ecstasy, a profound, everlasting love, our words can only compare them with animal passion, with drunkenness, brutal and coarse desire. And not only do they thus degrade the noblest triumphs of the soul of man by likening them to primitive instincts, but they incite us to believe, in spite of ourselves, that the object or feeling compared is less real, less true or substantial, than the type to which it is referred. ...
— The Buried Temple • Maurice Maeterlinck

... satire. His "English Bards and Scotch Reviewers" is 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

... creature who went out of Dalton with one hope, and only one,—that the first day's engagement might see him lying among the unnamed and unknown dead. But if the neighbors and his wife exposed to him relations which he swore he would not degrade himself so far as to resume, what was to become of his daughter? That was more easily managed. He could send her away from home to school, if he could find a lady in the land who would compassionate that neglected ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 107, September, 1866 • Various

... speech: Behold the concubine Of Aias, first of all the Greeks for might, How envied once, worn with what service now! So will they speak; and while my quailing heart Shall sink beneath its burden, clouds of shame Will dim thy glory and degrade thy race. Oh! think but of thy father, left to pine In doleful age, and let thy mother's grief— Who, long bowed down with many a careful year, Prays oftentimes thou may'st return alive— O'er awe thee. Yea, ...
— The Seven Plays in English Verse • Sophocles

... infinitesimally what the government, but for your opposition, might do universally. Your true creed is the survival of the fittest. You grind these people down into what is really an economic slavery and dependence, and then you insult and degrade them by inviting them to exercise and read books and sing hymns in your settlement house, and give their children crackers and milk and kindergartens and sunlight! I don't blame them for not becoming ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... afraid," he said; "it is impossible that I can degrade myself by quarrelling with Mr. Vimpany. I only wait here to know what you propose to do. You have ...
— Blind Love • Wilkie Collins

... yet peaceful seat From learning's labour is the blest retreat. POMPOSUS fills his magisterial chair; POMPOSUS governs,—but, my Muse, forbear: Contempt, in silence, be the pedant's lot, [vi] His name and precepts be alike forgot; No more his mention shall my verse degrade,— To him my tribute is already paid. ...
— Byron's Poetical Works, Vol. 1 • Byron

... undeveloped and unprogressive. She will continue rightly to agitate for Home Rule, and this agitation will always be baneful both to her and to us. It will distract her energies from her own economic and social problems. It will embitter and degrade our politics, and dislocate our Parliamentary institutions. She must suffer, we must suffer, the Empire must suffer. It is ...
— The Framework of Home Rule • Erskine Childers

... this sublime display of hypocrisy, Fouche pronounces gold and silver to have been the causes of all the calamities of the republic. "I know not," says he, "by what weak compliance those metals are suffered to remain in the hands of suspected persons. Let us degrade and vilify gold and silver, let us fling those deities of monarchy in the dirt, and establish the worship of the austere virtues of the republic," adding, by way of exemplification of his virtuous abhorrence, "I send you seventeen chests filled with gold, silver, ...
— Blackwoods Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 59, No. 366, April, 1846 • Various

... strict teetotaller) teetotum - The Queen exclaimed, "How terrible, very! It's perfectly clear to all the throng Peter's been at the old brown sherry. Old brown sherry is much too strong - Buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz. Of all who thus themselves degrade, A stern example must be made, To Coventry go, you tipsy bee!" So off to Coventry town went he. Buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz. There, classed with all who misbehave, Both plausible rogue and noisome knave, In dismal dumps he lived to own The folly of ...
— Songs of a Savoyard • W. S. Gilbert

... streets those traps of hell Into whose gilded snares I fell. Oh! freemen, from these foul decoys Arise, and vote to save the boys. Oh, ye who license men to trade In draughts that charm and then degrade, Before ye hear the cry, Too late, Oh, save the boys from ...
— Poems • Frances E. W. Harper

... extraordinary. Immediately they took from him the cowl, and left them with only some short cassocks such as are worn by clergymen. They delivered them to the bishop, who was already prepared for the degradation. He immediately began to degrade them, and then delivered them over to the secular arm. They were taken to jail by the strong guard of soldiers that had been in the church ever since the criminals had been removed from the prisons to hear the sentence. But it was possible to execute this sentence ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898: Volume XVIII, 1617-1620 • Various

... was most undesirable if Dumouriez really intended to treat for peace. 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

... been made,—in Mississippi, for example,—with the "understanding" clause, hold out a temptation for the election officer to perjure and degrade himself by too often deciding that the ignorant white man does understand the Constitution when it is read to him, and that the ignorant black man does not. By such a law, the state not only commits ...
— The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, 1995, Memorial Issue • Various

... subject which never tires, at least never tires me, however varied, repeated, multiplied. A subject so lovely in itself that the most eminent painter cannot easily embellish it, or the meanest degrade it; a subject which comes home to our own bosoms and dearest feelings; and in which we may "lose ourselves in all delightfulness," and indulge unreproved pleasure. I mean the Virgin and Child, or in other words, the abstract personification of what is loveliest, purest, ...
— The Diary of an Ennuyee • Anna Brownell Jameson

... enough wealth to pay his funeral expenses. He did not love bloodshed, even to gain liberty. He had objected to the conspiracy, since freedom was to be gained through murder. Yet this was the man who was to save Thebes and degrade her great ...
— Historic Tales, vol 10 (of 15) - The Romance of Reality • Charles Morris

... retribution overtook the Bulletin, for it also published a review of an opera which was not sung, but I meanly passed the occurrence by without comment. When a man hits you, it is far more generous, manly, and fraternal to hit him back a good blow than to degrade ...
— Memoirs • Charles Godfrey Leland

... 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 ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 103, November 5, 1892 • Various

... craftsmen for the motive of his work. Again, there are pictures by men who, equipped with adequate technical skill, have caught the manner of a master, and mistaking the manner for the message it was simply intended to express, they degrade it into a mannerism and turn out a product which people do not distinguish from the authentic utterances of the master. The artist is a seer and prophet, the channel of divine influences: the individual painter, sculptor, writer, is a very ...
— The Enjoyment of Art • Carleton Noyes

... signature was a royal decree deposing the Queen, "who for 33 years has dulled our senses, sold offices and titles," etc., etc. "Since she will not give up her wickedness and is hiding and plotting with low fellows, we hereby depose her and degrade her to the lowest rank." The King declared he would have both his hands cut off before he would sign this infamous paper, which did not prevent its ...
— A Short History of Russia • Mary Platt Parmele

... a lad like you should show such early symptoms of depravity; still more so, that he should not have the grace which even the most hardened are not wholly destitute of—I mean to practise immorality in secret, and not degrade themselves and insult their captain by unblushingly avowing (I may say glorying in) their iniquity, by exposing it in broad day, and in the most frequented ...
— Peter Simple and The Three Cutters, Vol. 1-2 • Frederick Marryat

... very frequently obliged to put up with rough and dirty accommodation, because the better sort of houses were of this class. If there are few sights which shock the traveller, there is much even on the surface to indicate vices which degrade and ...
— Unbeaten Tracks in Japan • Isabella L. Bird

... of the country. Old prejudices, a barbarous law, a sense of insecurity in the possessions they know were obtained by plunder, combine to sink them into the mischievous and unholy belief that it is their interest as well as their duty to degrade, and wrong, and beggar the ...
— Thomas Davis, Selections from his Prose and Poetry • Thomas Davis

... responsibility. He sees that it really cannot be made to answer such a purpose. He also sees, that the doctrine of necessity, as usually maintained, is liable to the objections urged against it, that "it tends to degrade the moral nature of man, and to paralyze our desire of excellence."(50) In making this concession to the advocates of liberty, he speaks from his own "personal experience." The only way to escape these pernicious consequences, he says, is to keep constantly before the mind a clear ...
— A Theodicy, or, Vindication of the Divine Glory • Albert Taylor Bledsoe

... the ears of his daughters. Is it not an absolute damnation of certain evil principles, that many men would be flayed alive rather than let those they love know that they hold them? But see the selfishness of such men: each looks with scorn on the woman he has done his part to degrade, but not an impure breath must reach the ears of HIS children! Another man's he ...
— What's Mine's Mine • George MacDonald

... word that the subject had engaged his attention, and he had laid the case before the law officers, who had reported to him that there were no grounds for any legal proceedings against them. 'How, therefore,' said the Lord-Lieutenant, 'could I degrade men against whom my law officers advised me that no charge could be brought?' This was one offence; and another, that he had countenanced Lord Cloncurry, who, being a member of the Association, was unworthy to receive the King's representative and the Chancellor. ...
— The Greville Memoirs - A Journal of the Reigns of King George IV and King William - IV, Volume 1 (of 3) • Charles C. F. Greville

... "I am sorry to degrade into Grig-street;" whether it alludes to the little vivacious eel, or to the merry character of its tenants, he does ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. II (of 3) - Edited, With Memoir And Notes, By His Son, The Earl Of Beaconsfield • Isaac D'Israeli

... Faculty in us which discovers, by the intervention of intermediate Ideas, what Connection Those in the Proposition have one with another: Whether certain; probable; or none at all; according whereunto, we ought to regulate our Assent. If we do not so, we degrade our selves from being Rational Creatures; and deprive our selves of the only Guide God has given us for our Conduct in ...
— Occasional Thoughts in Reference to a Vertuous or Christian life • Lady Damaris Masham

... either to glorify or degrade the body. If we worship it or pamper it, when it fails us, we are engulfed and buried in its ruins; if we misuse it, and we can misuse it alike by obeying it and disregarding it, it becomes our master and tyrant, or it fails us as an instrument. We must regard it rather as our ...
— The Silent Isle • Arthur Christopher Benson

... significance. There has been moreover a tendency on the part of some to associate themselves with a political party, and to claim for the Church the office of judge and arbitrator in industrial strife. But surely it is one thing to degrade the Church to the level of a secular society, and another, by witness and by effort, to make the law of Christ dominant over all the relationships of life. Men are impatiently asking, 'Has the Church no message to the new demands of the age? Are Christians to stand apart ...
— Christianity and Ethics - A Handbook of Christian Ethics • Archibald B. C. Alexander

... in all sufferings and calamities but that of reason only. If you wish for my affection, you will not speak of such things again, but will endeavor to purify yourself from a mental vice, which may sometimes, in periods of suffering, give you a false comfort for a brief season, only to degrade you, and sink you later in a deeper misery. ...
— A Crystal Age • W. H. Hudson

... before La Patti left us, to degrade herself by warbling her wood-notes in the ignorant ears of the Opera public whom Mr. Gye is about to assemble, and on whom the leadership of Costa is thrown away, an unfortunate incident happened at the Italiens. Patti had been announced, and Mdlle. ...
— The Cockaynes in Paris - 'Gone abroad' • Blanchard Jerrold

... never so utterly degrade myself. I could neither lower my standard, nor sacrifice my ideal," said Leo, with a touch of scorn in ...
— At the Mercy of Tiberius • August Evans Wilson

... obstinate, 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 • Frederick Marryat

... rhyme, who, seated in his corner of selfish complacency, regards the eating of his pie as a virtuous action, enjoys the contemplation of it, and thinks what a pleasant object he thus makes of himself to his parents? Shall I, to take a step farther, degrade the sanctity of the closet, hallowed in the words of Jesus, by shutting its door in the vain fancy of there doing something that God requires of me as a sacred OBSERVANCE? Shall I foolishly imagine that to put in exercise the highest and loveliest, the most entrancing ...
— Thomas Wingfold, Curate • George MacDonald

... natural composition to make the safest, shrewdest, and most calculating merchant; if I were called to pass judgment on the man most qualified to sustain the spirit and characteristics of the American nation abroad—one who would never betray our national energy, nor degrade his profession, nor fail to seek that which might promote the interests of those who reposed trust in him, at the same time never forgetting his own—if I were about forming an expedition, and would provide myself with that character of man upon whom the issue of its success most depends; if, I say, ...
— The Adventures of My Cousin Smooth • Timothy Templeton

... promise—now whilst we are the only ones awake in the house. We are husband and wife, Clara, and we must be kind to each other. We are not going to be like the poor creatures who let their misery degrade them. We are both too proud for that—what? We can think and express our thoughts; we can speak to each other's minds and hearts. ...
— The Nether World • George Gissing

... hopeless poor and of degraded men, I had in my mind only the feeble or detestable adults who degrade our civilisation; but I have by no means forgotten the unhappy little souls who develop into wastrels unless they are taken away from hideous surroundings which cramp vitality, destroy all childish happiness, ...
— Side Lights • James Runciman

... not used to it, nor can myself degrade So far, as in my hand to take the spade. This narrow life would ...
— Faust Part 1 • Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

... their own dishwashing, sweeping and bed-making. Once three boys about fourteen years old went on strike because the proctor asked them to scrub the dining-room floor on their knees. They thought this work would degrade them, and they started toward the superintendent's office. On the way they met me and told ...
— The Iron Puddler • James J. Davis

... charge is that they have acted as though they possessed unlimited power, and, without any warrant whatever in the resolution under which they were appointed, have pursued a course not merely at war with the constitutional rights of the Executive, but tending to degrade the Presidential office itself to such a degree as to render it unworthy of the acceptance of any ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Section 4 (of 4) of Volume 5: James Buchanan • James D. Richardson

... condition we are in now, and in which without great and immediate effort we are likely to remain, we degrade our patriotism. That we should have to tremble lest we be starved is a miserable, a humiliating thought. To have had so little pride and independence of spirit as to have come to this, to have been such gobblers at wealth—who dare defend it? We have made our bed; let us, now, refuse ...
— Another Sheaf • John Galsworthy

... way to put upon this outlandish Eastern cult the stamp of Rome's nationality, that stamp which no nation ever successfully and permanently resisted; and thus the reception of the cult on the part of the state was not only a disgraceful thing, tending to degrade true religion and spread the contagion of Orientalism, but it also made those whose appetite had been aroused eager for other deities, whose cult would have the great additional charm of being unlicensed by the state, and hence ...
— The Religion of Numa - And Other Essays on the Religion of Ancient Rome • Jesse Benedict Carter

... fact that when a woman is on the throne the country is ruled by men, and therefore ruled badly; whereas when a man is on the throne, the country is ruled by women, and therefore ruled well. The suffragets would degrade women from being rulers to being voters, mere politicians, the drudges of the caucus and the polling booth. We should lose our influence completely under such a state of affairs. The New Zealand women have the vote. What is the result? No poet ever makes a New Zealand woman ...
— Press Cuttings • George Bernard Shaw

... labour, we may think, had filled a gap, created by abnormal circumstances, and did not oust free labour entirely; but it tended constantly to cramp it, and doubtless started notions of work in general which helped to degrade it[334]. Those immense familiae urbanae, of which the historian of slavery has given a detailed account in his second volume[335], belong rather to the early Empire than to the last years of the Republic—the evidence for them is drawn chiefly ...
— Social life at Rome in the Age of Cicero • W. Warde Fowler

... what he 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 am anxious for his father's name, and, therefore, ...
— Marion Fay • Anthony Trollope

... for redress of wrongs claimed to have been inflicted upon them by the military. They were free to apply, and did apply, to tribunals outside of and independent of the executive. They and such as they should be the most unwilling to degrade the courts or lessen their power. A similar instance is that of the striking miners in Colorado who so loudly complained of the acts of the militia. They were not obliged to appeal to military or executive officers for redress. The Judicial Courts ...
— Concerning Justice • Lucilius A. Emery

... secret but universal decay was felt in every part of the public administration, and the emperor himself, though he still retained the obedience, gradually lost the esteem, of his subjects. The dress and manners, which, towards the decline of life, he chose to affect, served only to degrade him in the eyes of mankind. The Asiatic pomp, which had been adopted by the pride of Diocletian, assumed an air of softness and effeminacy in the person of Constantine. He is represented with false hair of various ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 2 • Edward Gibbon

... spirit of individualism. It must champion the human soul in its God-given right to exercise freely the faculties of mind and body. We must defend the right to work against those who would either destroy or degrade it. We must defend the right of every man, not only to join with others in protecting his interests, whether he is a brain worker or a hand worker—for without the right of combination the individual ...
— The Constitution of the United States - A Brief Study of the Genesis, Formulation and Political Philosophy of the Constitution • James M. Beck

... embrace a single series of phenomena, and they consequently must fail when extended to the whole of Nature. Water by its common operation, as poured down from the atmosphere in rain and torrents, tends to level and degrade the surface, and carries the material of the land into the bosom of the ocean. Fire, on the contrary, in volcanic eruptions usually raises mountains, exalts the surface, and creates islands even in the midst of the sea. But these laws are not invariable, ...
— Consolations in Travel - or, the Last Days of a Philosopher • Humphrey Davy

... eventually found their advantage in the democratic movement. Cobbett fought for the cause of the agricultural labourer, trodden under foot by squires and parsons. Owen believed that the grasping capitalist, with his steam machinery, would further degrade and impoverish the working classes. Godwin, who is merely mentioned by Mr. Stephen, was a peaceful anarchist, who proposed 'to abolish the whole craft and mystery of government,' to abandon coercion and rely upon just reasoning, upon the enlightened assent of ...
— Studies in Literature and History • Sir Alfred Comyn Lyall

... be your bridesmaid. I could never co-operate in the unhallowed scheme of wedding a man whom you despise. Oh, Olga! do not degrade yourself ...
— Infelice • Augusta Jane Evans Wilson

... to have the same were-gild (the lower, of course, the intent being to degrade all the conquered to one level, and to allow only the lowest were-gild of a freedman, fifty ...
— The Danish History, Books I-IX • Saxo Grammaticus ("Saxo the Learned")

... humanly conventional; both are completely independent of the arbitrary will of men. The political legislator may place their empire under an interdict, but he cannot reign there. He can proscribe the friend of truth, but truth subsists; he can degrade the artist, but he cannot change art. No doubt, nothing is more common than to see science and art bend before the spirit of the age, and creative taste receive its law from critical taste. When the character becomes ...
— Literary and Philosophical Essays • Various

... garbage. If one rule, and another be ruled, and if the domination be open, frank, and vigorous, you seem to feast on the fact, be this domination as selfish in its nature and as brutal in its form as it may. Whether its aim be to uplift or to degrade its subjects, whether it be clean or filthy, of heaven or of hell, a stress of generous purpose or a mere emphasis of egotism,—what pause do you make to inquire concerning this? The appearance is, that any sovereignty, ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 12, No. 72, October, 1863 • Various

... idea of the immortality of the soul and of a happier life has a tendency to lift up the heart of man and to sustain him in the midst of the adversities with which he is assailed in this life. Materialism, on the contrary, is, we are told, an afflicting system, tending to degrade man, which ranks him among brutes; which destroys his courage, whose only hope is complete annihilation, tending to lead him to despair, and inducing him to commit suicide as soon as he suffers in this world. The grand policy of theologians is to blow hot and to blow cold, to afflict ...
— Superstition In All Ages (1732) - Common Sense • Jean Meslier

... present, bewildered and afraid to move, it is as willing as ever to insist that the first chapter of Genesis contains the beginning and the end of sound science; and to visit, with such petty thunderbolts as its half-paralysed hands can hurl, those who refuse to degrade Nature to the level ...
— The Origin of Species - From 'The Westminster Review', April 1860 • Thomas H. Huxley

... replies, "No," explaining that their enemies had received the paper at a discount, and that, to receive it at par from them, would "give them voluntarily and with one eye open just that advantage over us to oppress, degrade and depress us." This combined financial and spiritual adviser closes his article by urging the brethren to set apart a portion of their time to the service of God, and a portion to "the study of the science of our government and the news ...
— The Story of the Mormons: • William Alexander Linn

... 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 meet the punishment he so richly deserves. 'Vengeance is ...
— Sevenoaks • J. G. Holland

... or a proper sense of what is due to one's self, in society and the common intercourse of life. This vice constitutes what we properly call MEANNESS; when a man can submit to the basest slavery, in order to gain his ends; fawn upon those who abuse him; and degrade himself by intimacies and familiarities with undeserving inferiors. A certain degree of generous pride or self-value is so requisite, that the absence of it in the mind displeases, after the same manner as the want of ...
— An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals • David Hume

... empire. But, after the death of Crassus, my glorious achievements in subduing the Gauls raised such a jealousy in him that he could no longer endure me as a partner in his power, nor could I submit to degrade myself into his subject. ...
— Dialogues of the Dead • Lord Lyttelton

... the Prussia of 1917 "is built with blood and mud." Even more than in 1807 the chastisement of Prussia is demanded by "eternal justice." The whole civilized world will breathe more freely when the sinister and diabolical power will be broken for ever and will oppress and degrade humanity ...
— German Problems and Personalities • Charles Sarolea

... extreme readiness to exhibit, indeed, has given rise to some ill-natured reflections; it having been objected that by exhibiting gratuitously through the country when the theatre is closed, they reduce themselves to the level of mountebanks, and thereby tend to degrade the respectability of the profession. Certainly Grimaldi never did this sort of thing; and though Brown, King, and Gibson have gone to the Surrey in vacation time, and Mr. C. J. Smith has ruralised at Sadler's ...
— Sketches by Boz - illustrative of everyday life and every-day people • Charles Dickens

... mother? This I certainly do not comprehend, that a son of Petrus and of mine should have thrown all the teaching and the example of his parents so utterly to the wind. But what you are aiming at with this statue, it seems to me is not hard to guess. As the forbidden-fruit hangs too high for you, you degrade your art, and make to yourself an image that resembles her according to your taste. Simply and plainly it comes to this; as you can no longer see the Gaul's wife in her own person, and yet cannot exist without the sweet presence of the fair one, you make a portrait ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... admires the girl who respects herself too much to permit him to tell her questionable stories, so will he reverence the wife who refuses to allow him to degrade himself in her presence either by speech or conduct. Love would not so often fail if wives knew the secret of retaining it, and that is not by sacrifice of principle, nor by tearful reproaches and upbraidings, but by ...
— What a Young Woman Ought to Know • Mary Wood-Allen

... diabetes, and the plague. Of those books, if I had read them, it could nor be expected that I should be able to give a critical account. I have been told that there is something in them of vexation and discontent, discovered by a perpetual attempt to degrade physic from its sublimity, and to represent it as attainable without much previous or concomitant learning. By the transient glances which I have thrown upon them I have observed an affected contempt of the ancients, and a supercilious derision of transmitted knowledge. ...
— Lives of the English Poets: Prior, Congreve, Blackmore, Pope • Samuel Johnson

... creditable to him, but he had neither the Age nor the rank to justify the granting him a triumph. To bestow such an honor upon one so young and in such a station, would only bring the honor itself, he said, into disrepute, and degrade, also, his ...
— History of Julius Caesar • Jacob Abbott

... and of course more generally read, than any other." September 2, 1843, 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 ...
— Fifth Avenue • Arthur Bartlett Maurice

... opposition. The man is acting but in his own justification. I will wait for mine. To resist would be to degrade us with a bully's brawl; they have the law with them. Let it take ...
— Under Two Flags • Ouida [Louise de la Ramee]

... depends upon the character of those who are in its ranks. If the individual is low or mean, no occupation can confer upon him respectability or regard. On the other hand, no useful employment, however trivial, in the social state, can degrade him who faithfully performs its duties. It is not always the men of genius, those gifted with extraordinary natural endowments, who are the greatest benefactors of our race, or who enjoy in a greater ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, April 1844 - Volume 23, Number 4 • Various

... safety. I could have had an escort of 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

... further with results that would be advantageous as well as curious. We degrade and finally vitiate our conscience if we do not respect its behests. Conscience then itself becomes small and timid and humble, shamefaced, and at length a mere whisper. Absolutely silent it can never ...
— The Cult of Incompetence • Emile Faguet

... Hard a starboard! Steady! Port! Port! you may!—and we flew past some huge mass, over which the green seas were fruitlessly trying to dash themselves. Coleridge describes the scene around us too well for me to degrade it with my prose. I will give ...
— Stray Leaves from an Arctic Journal; • Sherard Osborn

... been long tried on a large scale with a dreadful success, affording the demonstration that if, from early infancy, you allow human beings to live like brutes, you can degrade them down to their level, leaving them scarcely more intellect, and no feelings and affections proper to ...
— The Claims of Labour - an essay on the duties of the employers to the employed • Arthur Helps

... explanation with my son. She made a sententious speech, just as if she had been on the stage; she asked how he could think that the answer to Fitz-Morris's book should have proceeded from her, or that a Princess of the blood would degrade herself by composing libels? She told him, too, that the Cardinal de Polignac was engaged in affairs of too much importance to busy himself in trifles like this, and M. de Malezieux was too much a philosopher to think of anything but the sciences. For her own part, she said ...
— The Memoirs of the Louis XIV. and The Regency, Complete • Elizabeth-Charlotte, Duchesse d'Orleans

... fellow-men, then indeed the evil may become a blessing in disguise. But if you lay the blame of your misfortunes to God alone, and believe that He inflicts His creatures with disease because He is angry with the world, you degrade the Lord into an angry, revengeful Being of human type, instead of the grand and supreme Adonai Echod whom our ...
— Rabbi and Priest - A Story • Milton Goldsmith

... 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 ...
— On the Nature of Thought - or, The act of thinking and its connexion with a perspicuous sentence • John Haslam

... support in all this tissue of fables.... And, in fact, pride, after rejecting the Creator of all things and proclaiming man independent, wishing him to be his own king, his own priest, and his own God—pride goes so far as to degrade man himself to the level of the unreasoning brutes, perhaps even of lifeless matter, thus unconsciously confirming the Divine declaration, WHEN PRIDE COMETH, THEN COMETH SHAME. But the corruption of this age, the machinations of the perverse, the ...
— History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom • Andrew Dickson White

... style uses every ornament that can beautify and avoids every excess which would degrade. Macaulay and Addison have been enthroned as the kings of this style. To them all writers bend the knee ...
— How to Speak and Write Correctly • Joseph Devlin

... made an address in which he announced that "a nation may be too proud to fight." The country gasped for breath when it read those words, which seemed to be the official statement of the President of the United States that foreign nations might out rage, insult, and degrade this nation with impunity, because, as the rabbit retires into its hole, so we would burrow deep into our pride and show neither resentment nor sense of honor. As soon as possible, word came from the White House that, as the President's ...
— Theodore Roosevelt; An Intimate Biography, • William Roscoe Thayer

... the deepest depth of the fall. The same record announces that "three days afterwards his Majesty was pleased to create him Earl of Orford, Viscount Walpole, and Baron of Houghton." "Posterity," says Macaulay, "has obstinately refused to degrade Francis Bacon into Viscount St. Albans." Posterity has in like manner obstinately refused to degrade Robert Walpole into the Earl of Orford. He will be known {191} as Robert Walpole so long as ...
— A History of the Four Georges, Volume II (of 4) • Justin McCarthy

... may be, I have no fear of failing to make you "all the world to me", provided only that I am not false to my ideal. You must know from what I have written before that I can love, that I do know what love is, and that you may trust me. I am not trying to degrade passion—I simply see how passion throws the burden on the woman, and therefore it is utterly a crime with us—the least thought of it! I ought to consider you as a school-girl, really just that; and instead of that ...
— Love's Pilgrimage • Upton Sinclair

... Steele, he deems it humanity to laugh at an indifferent jest, and he has thereby earned for himself the reputation of being readily diverted. If he lacks the urbanities which embellish conversation, he is correspondingly free from the brutalities which degrade it. If his instinct does not prompt him to say something agreeable, it saves him from being wantonly unkind. Plain truths may be salutary; but unworthy truths are those which are destitute of any spiritual ...
— Americans and Others • Agnes Repplier

... theft with impunity it was first of all necessary to degrade the great national hero and saint and expose his memory to ridicule. In November 1538 St Thomas was declared a traitor, every representation of him was ordered to be destroyed, and his name was erased ...
— England of My Heart—Spring • Edward Hutton

... 'children.' If men do not suffer their children and kinsmen to be attacked with impunity, how much less will God sit by quiet when Israel is assailed God the Ruler over all things, over the powers in heaven above and on earth beneath, over the spirits and the souls God with whom it lies to exalt and to degrade, ...
— THE LEGENDS OF THE JEWS VOLUME IV BIBLE TIMES AND CHARACTERS - FROM THE EXODUS TO THE DEATH OF MOSES • BY LOUIS GINZBERG

... did nothing so very much amiss;—did you?" Then there came across her mind an idea that she would lie to him, and degrade herself with a double disgrace. But she hesitated, and was not actress enough to carry on the part. He winked at her as he continued to speak. "I know," he said. "It was just a foolish business, but no ...
— Linda Tressel • Anthony Trollope



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



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