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Degradate vs. Degrade — Which is Correct Spelling?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Fiza Rafique — Updated on March 19, 2024
"Degradate" is an incorrect spelling. The right term is "degrade," which means to lower in quality or value.
Degradate vs. Degrade — Which is Correct Spelling?

Which is correct: Degradate or Degrade

How to spell Degrade?


Incorrect Spelling


Correct Spelling

Key Differences

"Degradate" sounds like a compound word, while "degrade" is more straightforward.
Remember "grade" in "degrade" as a hint to quality levels.
Focus on the "de-" prefix and "grade," connecting it to lowering standards.
Visualize the word spelled correctly: "degrade."
Think of "downgrade," where the focus is also on "grade."

How Do You Spell Degrade Correctly?

Incorrect: The chemicals will degradate the soil quality over time.
Correct: The chemicals will degrade the soil quality over time.
Incorrect: Sunlight can degradate the color of the fabric quickly.
Correct: Sunlight can degrade the color of the fabric quickly.
Incorrect: Incorrect storage methods can degradate the food's nutritional value.
Correct: Incorrect storage methods can degrade the food's nutritional value.
Incorrect: Overuse can degradate the machine's performance significantly.
Correct: Overuse can degrade the machine's performance significantly.
Incorrect: Pollution is known to degradate air quality in urban areas.
Correct: Pollution is known to degrade air quality in urban areas.

Degrade Definitions

To reduce in quality, status, or value.
Pollution can degrade air quality.
To wear down by erosion.
The coastline has started to degrade due to strong waves.
To treat someone with disrespect.
He didn't want to degrade her with insults.
To reduce the complexity of a chemical compound.
Sunlight can degrade certain chemicals.
To lower in quality or value; make inferior or less valuable
Land that was degraded by overgrazing.
A virus that degrades the computer's performance.
To lower in dignity; dishonor or disgrace
Seemed to feel that he was degrading himself in accepting the invitation.
To reduce in grade, rank, or status; demote.
(Geology) To lower or wear away by erosion or weathering.
To cause (an organic compound) to undergo degradation.
To fall to a lower rank or status.
To undergo degradation; decompose
A chemical that degrades rapidly.
(transitive) To lower in value or social position.
Fred degrades himself by his behaviour.
To reduce in quality or purity.
The DNA sample has degraded.
To reduce in altitude or magnitude, as hills and mountains; to wear down.
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.
Prynne was sentenced by the Star Chamber Court to be degraded from the bar.
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.
O miserable mankind, to what fallDegraded, to what wretched state reserved!
Yet time ennobles or degrades each line.
Her pride . . . struggled hard against this degrading passion.
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.
Reduce the level of land, as by erosion
Reduce in worth or character, usually verbally;
She tends to put down younger women colleagues
His critics took him down after the lecture
Lower the grade of something; reduce its worth
To break down into components, especially by a natural process.
The waste will degrade over time.

Degrade Meaning in a Sentence

Acid rain can degrade marble statues over time.
Plastic bags take hundreds of years to degrade in landfills.
Overcharging the battery can degrade its overall lifespan.
Pollutants degrade water quality, affecting marine life.
Negative comments can degrade a person's self-esteem.
Continuous exposure to the sun will degrade the paint on the house.
Littering degrades the natural beauty of our parks.
Excessive heat can degrade the effectiveness of many medications.
Frequent use can degrade the sharpness of kitchen knives.
Improper handling can degrade the quality of fresh produce.
Using harsh chemicals can degrade soil fertility.
Stress can degrade your health if not managed properly.
Improper cleaning can degrade the performance of electronic devices.
Industrial waste can degrade river ecosystems severely.
Excessive fertilizer use can degrade the structure of the soil.
Erosion can degrade the stability of coastal regions.
Oil spills degrade marine environments, harming wildlife.
Data corruption can degrade digital storage media.
UV radiation from the sun degrades the collagen in your skin.
Ignoring maintenance can degrade the efficiency of heating systems.
Public scandals can degrade public trust in institutions.
Heavy foot traffic can degrade the condition of natural trails.
Mismanagement can degrade a company's reputation quickly.
Online harassment can degrade the sense of community in digital spaces.
Artificial lighting can degrade the quality of sleep over time.

Common Curiosities

What is the verb form of degrade?

"Degrade" is already a verb.

What is the plural form of degrade?

Not applicable, as "degrade" is a verb.

Which conjunction is used with degrade?

Any conjunction can be used depending on sentence structure.

Is degrade an abstract noun?


Is degrade a negative or positive word?

Generally negative.

Which preposition is used with degrade?

"Into," as in "degrade into."

Why is it called degrade?

The term originates from Latin "de-" meaning "down" and "gradus" meaning "step," referring to stepping down or lowering.

What is the pronunciation of degrade?


What is the root word of degrade?

The root word is "gradus" from Latin, meaning "step."

Is degrade an adverb?


Which vowel is used before degrade?

"A," as in "a degrade."

What is the singular form of degrade?

"Degrade" (it's a verb and doesn't have singular/plural forms).

Is the degrade term a metaphor?

No, but can be used metaphorically.

Is the word degrade a gerund?

The gerund form is "degrading."

How many syllables are in degrade?


Which article is used with degrade?

"A" or "the" can be used depending on the context.

Is the word degrade imperative?

It can be used in the imperative mood, e.g., "Do not degrade others."

Is the word “degrade” a Direct object or an Indirect object?

It can be the verb that takes either, depending on the sentence.

How do we divide degrade into syllables?


What part of speech is degrade?


What is the first form of degrade?


Is degrade a noun or adjective?


Is degrade a collective noun?


What is another term for degrade?

Diminish, belittle, denigrate.

What is the second form of degrade?


Is degrade a vowel or consonant?

"Degrade" is a word, not a single letter.

Is degrade a countable noun?

"Degrade" is a verb, not a noun.

What is a stressed syllable in degrade?

The second syllable, "grade."

What is the opposite of degrade?

Elevate or enhance.

Which determiner is used with degrade?

As a verb, it doesn't typically need a determiner.

What is the third form of degrade?


How is degrade used in a sentence?

"The constant rain began to degrade the quality of the roads."

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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