degradation

Definitions:

A reducing in rank; a depriving of office or situation; baseness; in geol., a wasting or wearing down.
- Etymological and pronouncing dictionary of the English language. By Stormonth, James, Phelp, P. H. Published 1874. (noun) (n.) (noun)
Act of degrading; state of being degraded; debasement; geol., a wearing away.
- The Clarendon dictionary. By William Hand Browne, Samuel Stehman Haldeman. Published 1894. (noun) (n.) (noun)
The act of degrading; the state of being degraded; diminution or reduction of strength, excellence, or value; degeneration; a lessening and obscuring of the appearance of distant objects in a landscape; the wearing away of rocks, beaches, & c.; the action of water and other causes.
- Nuttall's Standard dictionary of the English language. By Nuttall, P.Austin. Published 1914. (noun) (n.) (noun)
The act of lowering, or of being lowered, in rank, morals, etc.; disgrace.
- The Winston Simplified Dictionary. By William Dodge Lewis, Edgar Arthur Singer. Published 1919. (noun) (n.) (noun)

Usage examples:

During the long centuries of Italian degradation his burning words were as a watchfire and a beacon to all true men.
- Character by Samuel Smiles
It is no degradation to the lightning to have to carry messages.
- Expositions of Holy Scripture: Romans Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V) by Alexander Maclaren
Such a step must have brought about the immediate ruin of Zouroff, with its consequent degradation for his relatives.
- The Intriguers by William Le Queux