What does the word degrade mean?

Usage examples for degrade

  1. It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now; so he shall never know how I love him, and that not because he's handsome, Nelly, but because he's more myself than I am. – The Worlds Greatest Books Vol. II: Fiction by Arthur Mee, J. A. Hammerton, Eds.
  2. Why do so, if thereby you lower and degrade the most Italian sovereignty of the whole peninsula? – Pius IX. And His Time by The Rev. Æneas MacDonell Dawson
  3. Let the word stand, coloured though it is with associations that degrade it. – The Open Secret of Ireland by T. M. Kettle