from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Having declined, as in function or nature, from a former or original state: a degenerate form of an ancient folk art.
- adj. Having fallen to an inferior or undesirable state, especially in mental or moral qualities.
- adj. Physics Relating to two or more quantum states that share the same quantum numbers: degenerate energy levels.
- adj. Physics Characterized by great density and consisting of atoms stripped of electrons: degenerate matter.
- adj. Medicine Characterized by degeneration, as of tissue, a cell, or an organ.
- adj. Biology Having lost one or more highly developed functions, characteristics, or structures through evolution: a degenerate life form.
- adj. Genetics Having more than one codon that may code for the same amino acid.
- n. A depraved, corrupt, or vicious person.
- n. A person lacking or having progressively lost normative biological or psychological characteristics.
- intransitive v. To fall below a normal or desirable state, especially functionally or morally; deteriorate: old water pipes that are degenerating with age; a dispute that degenerated into a brawl.
- intransitive v. To decline in quality: The quality of his writing degenerated as he continued to drink.
- intransitive v. To undergo degeneration.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. having deteriorated, degraded or fallen from normal, coherent, balanced and desirable to an undesirable and typically abnormal
- adj. having lost good or desirable qualities
- adj. having multiple domain elements correspond to one element of the range
- adj. a degenerate case is a limiting case in which a class of object changes its nature so as to belong to another, usually simpler, class.
- adj. Having the same quantum energy level
- n. One is degenerate, who has fallen from previous stature.
- v. (of humans or systems) to lose good or desirable qualities;
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Having become worse than one's kind, or one's former state; having declined in worth; having lost in goodness; deteriorated; degraded; unworthy; base; low.
- intransitive v. To be or grow worse than one's kind, or than one was originally; hence, to be inferior; to grow poorer, meaner, or more vicious; to decline in good qualities; to deteriorate.
- intransitive v. To fall off from the normal quality or the healthy structure of its kind; to become of a lower type.
- n. a person who has declined from a high standard, especially a sexual deviate; -- usually used disparagingly or opprobriously of persons whose sexual behavior does not conform to the norms of accepted morals.
- n. a person or thing that has fallen from a higher to a lower state, or reverted to an earlier type or stage of development or culture.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To lose, or become impaired with respect to, the qualities proper to the race or kind, or to a prototype; become of a lower type.
- Specifically To decay in quality; pass to an inferior or a worse state; suffer a decline in character or constitution; deteriorate.
- Synonyms To deteriorate, decline.
- Having lost, or become impaired with respect to, the qualities proper to the race or kind; having been reduced to a lower type.
- Specifically Having fallen into a less excellent or a worse state; having declined in physical or moral qualities; deteriorated; degraded.
- Characterized by or associated with degeneracy; unworthy; debased: applied to inanimate objects.
- n. One who has retrograded from a normal type or standard, especially in moral nature and character, and exhibits certain morbid physical and mental traits and tendencies.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. grow worse
- adj. unrestrained by convention or morality
- n. a person whose behavior deviates from what is acceptable especially in sexual behavior
Latin dēgenerātus, past participle of dēgenerāre, to depart from one's own kind, deteriorate : dē-, de- + genus, gener-, race; see genə- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin degeneratus, past participle of degenerare ("to degenerate"), from degener ("ignoble"), from de ("from, down") + genus ("race, kind"); see genus, general. (Wiktionary)