What is Degradation?

Legal Definition
Punishment, ecclesiastical law. A censure by which a clergy man is deprived of his holy orders, which he had as a priest or deacon.
-- Bouviers Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
A deprivation of dignity; dismission from office. An ecclesiastical censure, whereby a clergyman is divested of his holy orders. There are two serin by the canon law,—one summary, by word only; the other solemn, by stripping the party degraded of those ornaments and rights which are the ensigns of his degree. Degradation is otherwise ' called "deposition," but the canonists have distinguished between these two terms, deeming the former as the greater punishment of the two. There is likewise a degradation of a lord or knight at common law, and also by act of parliament. Wharton.
-- Black's Law Dictionary