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From Late Middle English abaishen, abashen, abaisse, abassen, abesse, abessen (to be upset; to embarrass; to surprise; to confound; to bend down, stoop; to abase, degrade, disgrace), from Middle French abaisser, from Old French abaissier, abessier (to prostrate oneself; to lower, reduce) (also compare Old French esbahir (to amaze), Vulgar Latin abbassiāre (to lower)),[1] from a- (prefix indicating movement towards something) (from Latin ad (toward, to), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *h₂éd (at, to)) + baissier (to lower) (from Medieval Latin bassus (short of stature, low; base), possibly from Ancient Greek βᾰ́σῐς (básis, foot; base, foundation), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *gʷem- (to step)).[2][3] The spelling of the English word has been influenced by base.[4]



abase (third-person singular simple present abases, present participle abasing, simple past and past participle abased)

  1. (transitive) To lower, as in condition in life, office, rank, etc., so as to cause pain or hurt feelings; to degrade, to depress, to humble, to humiliate. [from c. 1350–1470][3]
  2. (transitive, archaic) To lower physically; to depress; to cast or throw down; to stoop. [from c. 1350–1470][3]
    to abase the eye
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To lower in value, in particular by altering the content of alloys in coins; to debase. [from mid 16th – mid 18th c.][3]



  • (to lower so as to cause pain or hurt feelings): exalt, extol

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit



  1. ^ abaishen, v.” in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 28 May 2018.
  2. ^ Elliott K. Dobbie, C. William Dunmore, Robert K. Barnhart, et al. (editors), Chambers Dictionary of Etymology (Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, 2004 [1998], →ISBN), page 2
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Lesley Brown (editor), The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition (Oxford University Press, 2003 [1933], →ISBN), page 2
  4. ^ abase” (US) / “abase” (UK) in Oxford Dictionaries, Oxford University Press.

Further readingEdit



From abas +‎ -e.




  1. down with