• (RP, GA) IPA: /əˈbeɪs/

abase (abases, present participle abasing; past and past participle abased)

  1. (transitive) To lower#Verb|lower, as in condition#Noun|condition in life, office, rank#Noun|rank, etc., so as to cause#Verb|cause pain#Noun|pain or hurt#Verb|hurt feelings; to degrade, to depress, to humble#Verb|humble, to humiliate. [from c. 1350–1470]
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Luke 14:11 ↗:
      For whoſoeuer exalteth himſelfe ſhalbe abaſed: and hee that humbleth himſelfe, ſhalbe exalted.
  2. (transitive, archaic) To lower physically; to depress; to cast#Verb|cast or throw#Verb|throw down; to stoop#Verb|stoop. [from c. 1350–1470]
    to abase the eye
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Qveene. […], London: Printed [by John Wolfe] for VVilliam Ponsonbie, OCLC 960102938 ↗, book II, canto II, stanza 32, page 214 ↗:
      Her gracious words their rancour did appall, / And ſuncke ſo deepe into their boyling breſts, / That downe they lett their cruel weapons fall, / And lowly did abaſe their lofty creſts, / To her faire preſence, and diſcrete beheſts.
    • 1612, [Miguel de Cervantes]; Thomas Shelton, transl., “Of that which Befell to Our Knight, after He had Departed from the Inne”, in The History of the Valorovs and Wittie Knight-errant Don-Qvixote of the Mancha. […], London: Printed by William Stansby, for Ed[ward] Blount and W. Barret, OCLC 84747867 ↗, part 1, page 30 ↗:
      [A]ll of you together ſhall pay for the great blaſphemy thou haſt ſpoken againſt ſo immenſe a beautie, as is that of my Miſtreſſe. And ſaying ſo, he abaſed his lance#English|Launce againſt him that had anſwered with ſuch furie and anger, as if good fortune had not ſo ordayned it, that Rozinante ſhould ſtumble, and fal in the midst of the Carrier, it had gone very ill with the bold Merchant.
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To lower in value#Noun|value, in particular by altering the content#Noun|content of alloy#Noun|alloys in coin#Noun|coins; to debase. [from mid 16th – mid 18th c.]
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