Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To lower in rank, prestige, or esteem. See Synonyms at degrade.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To lower or depress; to throw or cast down.
  • transitive v. To cast down or reduce low or lower, as in rank, office, condition in life, or estimation of worthiness; to depress; to humble; to degrade.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To lower or depress, as a thing; bring down.
  • To reduce or lower, as in rank, estimation, office, and the like; depress; humble; degrade.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. cause to feel shame; hurt the pride of

Etymologies

Middle English abassen, from Old French abaissier : Latin ad-, ad- + Vulgar Latin *bassiāre (from Medieval Latin bassus, low).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Coleridge was evidently one of those people who abase themselves excessively in the hope of never having to hear their faults expressed on the lips of others.

    Wordsworth & Coleridge II « Tales from the Reading Room

  • What would possess anyone to take such blessings and abase them with dollar signs?

    Money drives NCAA to expand and ruin a perfect tournament

  • Where the people are Catholic and submissive to the law of God, as declared and applied by the vicar of Christ and supreme pastor of the church, democracy may be a good form of government; but combined with Protestantism or infidelity in the people, its inevitable tendency is to lower the standard of morality, to enfeeble intellect, to abase character, and to retard civilization, as even our short American experience amply proves.

    GOP Confronts Its Future Viability

  • The human spirit is fashioned in the likeness of the Creator: it is improper to abase that spirit to some other component of the Creation.

    The Ritual: After Death, Before Venison

  • In return for their financial support I will promise never, ever to take tea with the Dalai Lama, to stop complaining about their currency manipulation, and to abase myself in any other way they deem appropriate.

    Europe's Not-So-Cunning Rescue Plan

  • Next week, the odds are that she will have to abase herself before the conservative and relatively euro-skeptic wing of her own party if, as seems likely, the Christian Democrats lose control of the conservative citadel of Baden-Württemberg.

    Euro Zone Letting Slip a Grand Chance

  • Lewis has now been forced to abase himself in front of the world's media, and apologise for lying.

    Archive 2009-04-01

  • Asking her to humiliate and abase herself before colleagues is a contravention of her basic human rights.

    Want to get ex-offenders into work? Scrap criminal records

  • Nothing else could explain the zeal with which the U.S. cancelled the visas of Honduran judges and congressmen, all duly appointed or elected before the supposed "coup," for the sin of interpreting their own law in a manner that displeased the Obama administration and hindered the administration's efforts to abase itself to Hugo Ch vez.

    Honduras's Removal of Manuel Zelaya Was No Coup

  • They see me in the doorway; the steward of her chamber bellows, “Lady Margaret Stanley!” in an accent no one living south of Hull could understand, the women shuffle aside, so that I can walk towards her, and I step in and go down to my knees, abase myself to yet another usurper, and hold up my hands in the gesture of fealty.

    The Red Queen

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.