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”)), 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”)). The spelling of the English word has been influenced by base.
- (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]
- (transitive, archaic) To lower physically; to depress; to cast or throw down; to stoop. [from c. 1350–1470]
- to abase the eye
- 1612, [Miguel de Cervantes]; Thomas Shelton, transl., “Of that which Befell to Our Knight, after He had Departed from the Inne”, in The History of the Valorovs and Wittie Knight-errant Don-Qvixote of the Mancha. […], London: Printed by William Stansby, for Ed[ward] Blount and W. Barret, OCLC 84747867, part 1, page 30:
- [A]ll of you together ſhall pay for the great blaſphemy thou haſt ſpoken againſt ſo immenſe a beautie, as is that of my Miſtreſſe. And ſaying ſo, he abaſed his Launce againſt him that had anſwered with ſuch furie and anger, as if good fortune had not ſo ordayned it, that Rozinante ſhould ſtumble, and fal in the midst of the Carrier, it had gone very ill with the bold Merchant.
- (transitive, obsolete) To lower in value, in particular by altering the content of alloys in coins; to debase. [from mid 16th – mid 18th c.]
- (to lower so as to cause pain or hurt feelings): degrade, disgrace, humble, humiliate
- (to lower physically): bring down
- (to lower in value): downgrade
- ^ “abaishen, v.” in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 28 May 2018.
- ^ Elliott K. Dobbie, C. William Dunmore, Robert K. Barnhart, et al. (editors), Chambers Dictionary of Etymology (Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, 2004 , →ISBN), page 2
- Lesley Brown (editor), The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition (Oxford University Press, 2003 , →ISBN), page 2
- ^ “abase” (US) / “abase” (UK) in Oxford Dictionaries, Oxford University Press.
- abase (disambiguation) on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
- abase in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
- abase in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913