Debase is a verb that means to reduce the quality or value of something, or to lower the rank or dignity of someone.
So the Pentagon contends that it has no choice but to exclude its sufferers from the Purple Heart, given to those whose injuries result from direct and intentional action by the enemy. Doing so would not debase the medal, as some defenders of the Purple Heart callously put it, but it would change it, perhaps in unintended and unwelcome ways. (NY Times)
Why take real people who have been a source of inspiration for millions and debase them for the purpose of “entertainment”? Jack’s Widow elicits the same queasy sensation as reading a supermarket tabloid. (USA Today)