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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce debauch (audio)

Dictionary definition of debauch

To corrupt, seduce, or lead someone astray, particularly in relation to their moral values, principles, or behavior.
"They fear that the influx of tourists will debauch the tranquil atmosphere of the village."

Detailed meaning of debauch

It involves engaging in or encouraging excessive indulgence in sensual or hedonistic pleasures, often with a disregard for societal norms or ethical standards. When one debauches another, they tempt or entice them into engaging in activities that are considered immoral, decadent, or debased. 'Debauch' can encompass a wide range of behaviors, including but not limited to excessive drinking, promiscuity, drug use, or engaging in morally questionable acts. It carries a connotation of excessiveness, recklessness, and a lack of self-control. To debauch oneself implies willingly partaking in such activities without restraint or remorse. Overall, 'debauch' signifies the act of leading someone or oneself into a state of moral degradation or indulging in unrestrained pleasure-seeking.

Example sentences containing debauch

1. His constant desire to debauch made him lose focus on his career.
2. In the movie, the pirates would often debauch after finding treasure.
3. The marketing campaign was criticized for trying to debauch young minds.
4. It's important not to let power and wealth debauch your principles and values.
5. Many believe that the internet has the potential to debauch those who are not careful.
6. His week-long trip to Las Vegas was nothing more than an opportunity to debauch.

History and etymology of debauch

The verb 'debauch' has its etymological roots in the French word 'débaucher,' which meant 'to lead astray' or 'to entice away from work or duty.' This French term is believed to have evolved from the Middle French 'desbaucher,' where 'des-' signifies a reversal or negation, and 'bauchier' means 'to work.' In essence, 'debauch' originally referred to the act of leading someone away from their work or responsibilities, often with the implication of moral decline or corruption. Over time, it came to describe corrupting or seducing someone, particularly in relation to their moral values, principles, or behavior. The etymology of 'debauch' underscores its historical connection to the notion of leading someone astray or causing them to deviate from their moral path, emphasizing the corrupting influence implied by the term.

Quiz: Find the meaning of debauch

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Further usage examples of debauch

1. The cult leader was accused of using his position to debauch his followers.
2. The once-peaceful protest began to debauch into chaos and violence.
3. His attempt to debauch the jury with false information was quickly discovered.
4. After years of hard work, they decided to take a break and debauch in the Caribbean.
5. Some critics argue that excessive consumerism can debauch the human spirit.
6. They were worried that the introduction of gambling would debauch their community.
7. She refused to let the fame and attention debauch her dedication to charity.
8. The king’s advisers were concerned that his penchant for excess would debauch the kingdom.
9. It's disheartening to see a person of such talent let addiction debauch their life.
10. The ancient festival was once sacred but has now been debauched into a commercialized event.
11. He wrote a book about how his travels debauched his naive worldview.
12. The excessive praise and adulation seemed to debauch the young actor's sense of humility.
13. She started a campaign to prevent companies from using advertisements to debauch children's eating habits.
14. The charismatic temptress debauched the innocent young man, leading him down a path of vice and indulgence.



corrupt, purify, moralize, uplift


ACT 16 (American College Testing), Discipline and Self-Control, Recklessness and Indulgence

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