Where does the word “debauch” come from and What does debauch mean?

In the Middle Ages it was no more difficult to persuade a man to leave his work, perhaps for conversation or a convivial drink, than it is today.

The French of that period had a word for that. It was desbaucher, literally, to lure from one’s place of work or from one’s duty to a master.

The French meaning altered in the course of years, and by the time the word entered England, where it was eventually spelled debauch, it had acquired the meanings with which we use it now.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

Leave a Comment