To reduce from a higher to a lower rank or degree; to lower in rank; to deprive of office or dignity; to strip of honors; as, to degrade a nobleman, or a general officer.
To reduce in estimation, character, or reputation; to lessen the value of; to lower the physical, moral, or intellectual character of; to debase; to bring shame or contempt upon; to disgrace; as, vice degrades a man.
To reduce in altitude or magnitude, as hills and mountains; to wear down.
To degenerate; to pass from a higher to a lower type of structure; as, a family of plants or animals degrades through this or that genus or group of genera.
Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe. Frederick Douglass
Some ISPs are blocking all BitTorrent traffic, because BitTorrent can be used to share files in a piratical way. Hollywood lobbying groups are trying to pass laws which would force ISPs to block or degrade BitTorrent traffic, too. Personally, I think this is like closing down freeways because a bank robber could use them to get away. Wil Wheaton
The foundation of empire is art and science. Remove them or degrade them, and the empire is no more. Empire follows art and not vice versa as Englishmen suppose. William Blake
The aim of a joke is not to degrade the human being, but to remind him that he is already degraded. George Orwell