Definition of DEGRADING


Degrading functions as an adjective, describing something that diminishes the dignity, worth, or value of someone or something. It conveys a sense of humiliation, disrespect, or loss of status, often associated with experiences or treatment that degrade or demean individuals.

Used as an adjective, degrading refers to actions, behaviors, or experiences that diminish the dignity, worth, or value of someone or something. It implies a loss of respect, status, or self-esteem, resulting from treatment that devalues or humiliates individuals.

Loss of Dignity: Degrading experiences strip individuals of their dignity, leaving them feeling humiliated, degraded, or disempowered. Whether through verbal insults, physical mistreatment, or discriminatory actions, such experiences undermine a person’s sense of self-worth and contribute to feelings of shame or inadequacy.

Disrespectful Treatment: Degrading treatment involves actions or behaviors that show a lack of respect, consideration, or empathy toward others. It may include verbal abuse, ridicule, belittlement, or discrimination based on factors such as race, gender, sexuality, or socio-economic status, perpetuating harmful stereotypes and power imbalances.

Impact on Mental Health: Degrading experiences can have profound psychological and emotional effects on individuals, leading to feelings of anger, resentment, or despair. They may contribute to mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, or low self-esteem, as individuals struggle to cope with the trauma and indignity of being devalued or demeaned.

Social and Cultural Context: Degrading treatment often occurs within broader social and cultural contexts that perpetuate inequalities, prejudice, and discrimination. Structural inequalities based on factors such as race, gender, or class can create environments where degrading treatment is normalized or overlooked, perpetuating cycles of oppression and marginalization.

Promoting Dignity and Respect: Challenging degrading treatment requires promoting awareness, education, and empathy to combat prejudice, discrimination, and injustice. It involves fostering cultures of respect, inclusivity, and dignity where all individuals are valued and treated with empathy, compassion, and fairness.

In conclusion, degrading as an adjective describes actions, behaviors, or experiences that diminish the dignity, worth, or value of someone or something. Whether through disrespectful treatment, loss of dignity, or psychological harm, degrading experiences erode individuals’ sense of self-worth and contribute to feelings of humiliation and disempowerment. Embracing empathy, understanding, and advocacy can help challenge degrading treatment and promote environments where all individuals are valued, respected, and treated with dignity and fairness.

Examples of DEGRADING in a sentence

  • The degrading treatment of prisoners sparked outrage among human rights organizations.
  • Employers should not tolerate degrading behavior in the workplace.
  • The degrading conditions in the refugee camps were a humanitarian crisis.
  • Discriminatory policies can have a degrading effect on marginalized communities.
  • Her supervisor’s constant criticism was degrading to her self-esteem.
  • The comedian’s jokes were seen as degrading and offensive to many audience members.
  • Degrading images and language in media can perpetuate harmful stereotypes.
  • The degrading portrayal of women in the advertisement was met with backlash from viewers.

Origin of DEGRADING 

The term “degrading” is formed from the verb “degrade,” which originates from the Old French “degrader,” derived from the Latin “degradare,” meaning “to reduce in rank or status” or “to lower in dignity or quality.” Here’s the breakdown:

  • Degradare (Latin): Referring to “to reduce in rank or status” or “to lower in dignity or quality.”
  • Degrader (Old French): Borrowed from Latin, maintaining a similar meaning.
  • Degrade (Modern English): Evolved from Old French, retaining the original sense of reducing in rank, status, dignity, or quality.
  • Degrading: Adjective form of “degrade,” indicating something that causes a loss of dignity, quality, or status.

Therefore, “degrading” originally described the process of lowering in rank, status, dignity, or quality, and it now primarily refers to actions, conditions, or treatments that diminish someone’s dignity or self-respect.


  • Debasing
  • Disparaging
  • Demeaning
  • Belittling
  • Derogatory
  • Humiliating
  • Dishonoring
  • Diminishing


  • Honoring
  • Elevating
  • Respecting
  • Uplifting
  • Dignifying
  • Praising
  • Validating
  • Commending


  • Discrediting
  • Devaluing
  • Deflating
  • Detracting
  • Undermining
  • Dehumanizing
  • Shaming
  • Tarnishing

🌐 🇬🇧 DEGRADING in other languages

Terms of Use

Privacy & Cookies


Who We Are

Main Sections


Geographical Locations



Let´s Talk



® 2024