When you make something less valuable or less important, you devalue it. You might devalue your car by spray painting it black and letting your dog chew the upholstery.

Economists and business reporters often use the verb devalue when they talk about the currency — or money — of different countries, and what it's worth in comparison to other currencies. Sometimes countries will devalue their currency, for example, to get more people to buy their exported products. But you can also devalue a relationship by neglecting it, or devalue a diamond ring by chipping it. Devaluation came before devalue, with a Latin root of valere, "be strong or be of value."

Definitions of devalue

v lower the value or quality of

“The tear devalues the painting”
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lower the value of something
alloy, debase
lower in value by increasing the base-metal content
lour, lower
set lower
expense, write down, write off
reduce the estimated value of something
lower the rated electrical capability of electrical apparatus
subdue, subordinate
make subordinate, dependent, or subservient
Type of:
alter, change, modify
cause to change; make different; cause a transformation

v remove the value from; deprive of its value

demonetise, demonetize
deprive of value for payment
Type of:
cheapen, degrade
lower the grade of something; reduce its worth

v lose in value

depreciate, devaluate, undervalue
lower the value of something
appreciate, apprise, apprize, revalue
gain in value
appreciate, apprise, apprize
increase the value of
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Type of:
decrease, diminish, fall, lessen
decrease in size, extent, or range

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