to treat someone without respect and make them lose respect for themselves:
a movie that degrades women
degrade yourself (by doing something)
How can you degrade yourself by writing such trash?
to make a situation or the condition of something worse:
The dolphin's habitat is being rapidly degraded.
3 [intransitive and transitive]HC technical
if a substance, chemical etc degrades, or if something degrades it, it changes to a simpler form