TO DEGRADE, DEGRADING
2. As a man's character is of great importance to him, and it is his interest to retain the good opinion of all mankind, when he is a witness, he cannot be compelled to disclose any matter which would tend to disgrace or degrade him, 13 How. St. Tr. 17, 334, 16 How. St. Tr. 161. A question having that tendency, however, may be asked, and, in such case, when the witness chooses to answer it, the answer is conclusive. 1 Phil. Ev. 269; R. & M. 383.