- The definition of degenerate is someone or something that has lost their former good character or morality.
An example of something that would be described as degenerate is an immoral society.
- Degenerate is defined as a person who is immoral, corrupt or sexually perverted.
An example of a degenerate is a thief.
- having sunk below a former or normal condition, character, etc.; deteriorated
- morally corrupt; depraved
Origin: Classical Latin degeneratus, past participle of degenerare, to become unlike one's race, degenerate ; from degener, not genuine, base ; from de-, from plush genus, race: see genus
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- Having declined, as in function or nature, from a former or original state: a degenerate form of an ancient folk art.
- Having fallen to an inferior or undesirable state, especially in mental or moral qualities.
- Physics Relating to two or more quantum states that share the same quantum numbers: degenerate energy levels.
- Physics Characterized by great density and consisting of atoms stripped of electrons: degenerate matter.
- Medicine Characterized by degeneration, as of tissue, a cell, or an organ.
- Biology Having lost one or more highly developed functions, characteristics, or structures through evolution: a degenerate life form.
- Genetics Having more than one codon that may code for the same amino acid.
- A depraved, corrupt, or vicious person.
- A person lacking or having progressively lost normative biological or psychological characteristics.
- 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.
- To decline in quality: The quality of his writing degenerated as he continued to drink.
- To undergo degeneration.
Origin: 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.
- de·genˈer·ate·ly adverb
- de·genˈer·ate·ness noun
degenerate - Medical Definition
- Characterized by degeneration, as of tissue, a cell, or an organ.
- Having lost one or more highly developed functions, characteristics, or structures through evolution.