One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘they kept wages low, which demoralized the staff’
dishearten, dispirit, deject, cast down, depress, dismay, daunt, discourage, unman, unnerve, crush, sap, shake, throw, cow, subdue, undermine, devitalize, weaken, enfeeble, enervate
break someone's spirit, bring someone low
informal knock the stuffing out of, knock for six, knock sideways
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