From Middle English abaisse, abesse, abessen, abaishen, abassen, from Middle French abaisser, from Old French abaissier (bring low), from Old French a- + baissier (to lower), from Vulgar Latin abbassiāre (to lower), from Medieval Latin bassus (short of stature, low, humble).[1][2]



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

  1. (transitive, archaic) To lower physically or depress; to stoop; to throw or cast down[First attested from around (1350 to 1470)][2]
    to abase the eye
  2. (transitive) To lower, as in rank, office, condition in life, so as to hurt feelings or cause pain; to depress; to humiliate; to humble; to degrade. [First attested from around (1350 to 1470)][2]
    • Bible, Luke 14:11
      Whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased.
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To lower in value, in particular as altering the content of alloys in coins.[2][Attested from the mid 16th century until the mid 18th century.][2]



Derived termsEdit



  1. ^ Elliott K. Dobbie, C. William Dunmore, Robert K. Barnhart, et al. (editors), Chambers Dictionary of Etymology (Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, 2004 [1998], ISBN 0550142304), page 2
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Lesley Brown (editor), The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition (Oxford University Press, 2003 [1933], ISBN 978-0198605751), page 2