degenerate[dē jen′ər it, di-; for v., -āt′]
- 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 of degenerateClassical Latin degeneratus, past participle of degenerare, to become unlike one's race, degenerate ; from degener, not genuine, base ; from de-, from + genus, race: see genus
- Having declined, as in function or nature, from a former or original state: a degenerate form of an ancient folk art.
- Morally corrupt or given to vice.
- 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 Relating to or being a gene that has multiple codons for the same amino acid.
intransitive verbde·gen·er·at·ed, de·gen·er·at·ing, de·gen·er·ates
- 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 of degenerateLatin dēgenerātus, past participle of dēgenerāre, to depart from one's own kind, deteriorate : dē-, de- + genus, gener-, race; see gen&schwa;- in Indo-European roots.
(comparative more degenerate, superlative most degenerate)
- (of qualities) Having deteriorated, degraded or fallen from normal, coherent, balanced and desirable to undesirable and typically abnormal.
- (of a human or system) Having lost good or desirable qualities.
- (of an encoding or function) Having multiple domain elements correspond to one element of the range.
- The genetic code is degenerate because a single amino acid can be coded by one of several codons.
- (mathematics) 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.
- (physics) Having the same quantum energy level.
- One is degenerate, who has fallen from previous stature.
- You are a degenerate, boy. You're a disgrace to your ancestors.
(third-person singular simple present degenerates, present participle degenerating, simple past and past participle degenerated)