degenerate

v. /di jen"euh rayt'/; adj., n. /di jen"euhr it/, v., degenerated, degenerating, adj., n.
v.i.
1. to fall below a normal or desirable level in physical, mental, or moral qualities; deteriorate: The morale of the soldiers degenerated, and they were unable to fight.
2. to diminish in quality, esp. from a former state of coherence, balance, integrity, etc.: The debate degenerated into an exchange of insults.
3. Pathol. to lose functional activity, as a tissue or organ.
4. Evolution. (of a species or any of its traits or structures) to revert to a simple, less highly organized, or less functionally active type, as a parasitic plant that has lost its taproot or the vestigial wings of a flightless bird.
v.t.
5. to cause degeneration in; bring about a decline, deterioration, or reversion in.
adj.
6. having fallen below a normal or desirable level, esp. in physical or moral qualities; deteriorated; degraded: a degenerate king.
7. having lost, or become impaired with respect to, the qualities proper to the race or kind: a degenerate vine.
8. characterized by or associated with degeneracy: degenerate times.
9. Math. pertaining to a limiting case of a mathematical system that is more symmetrical or simpler in form than the general case.
10. Physics.
a. (of modes of vibration of a system) having the same frequency.
b. (of quantum states of a system) having equal energy.
n.
11. a person who has declined, as in morals or character, from a type or standard considered normal.
12. a person or thing that reverts to an earlier stage of culture, development, or evolution.
13. a sexual deviate.
[1485-95; < L degeneratus (ptp. of degenerare to decline from an ancestral standard), equiv. to de DE- + gener-, s. of genus race (see GENUS) + -atus -ATE1; see GENERATE]
Syn. 1. worsen, decline, backslide, retrogress.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Degenerate — De*gen er*ate, a. [L. degeneratus, p. p. of degenerare to degenerate, cause to degenerate, fr. degener base, degenerate, that departs from its race or kind; de + genus race, kind. See {Kin} relationship.] Having become worse than one s kind, or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Degenerate — Degenerate …   Википедия

  • degenerate — [dē jen′ər it, dijen′ər it; ] for v. [, dē jen′ərāt΄, di jen′ərāt΄] adj. [L degeneratus, pp. of degenerare, to become unlike one s race, degenerate < degener, not genuine, base < de , from + genus, race: see GENUS] 1. having sunk below a… …   English World dictionary

  • degenerate — [adj] corrupt, deteriorated base, debased, debauched, decadent, decayed, degenerated, degraded, demeaned, depraved, dissolute, effete, failing, fallen, flatitious, immoral, infamous, low, mean, miscreant, nefarious, overripe, perverted,… …   New thesaurus

  • degenerate — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ having lost normal and desirable qualities; showing evidence of moral or physical decline. ► NOUN ▪ a morally degenerate person. ► VERB ▪ deteriorate physically or morally. DERIVATIVES degeneracy noun degenerately adverb …   English terms dictionary

  • Degenerate — De*gen er*ate, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Degenerated}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Degenerating}.] 1. 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;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • degenerate — de*gen er*ate, n. 1. 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. [PJC] 2. a person or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • degenerate — I noun corrupt person, debased person, debauchee, decadent person, degraded person, depraved person, derelict, disreputable person, immoral person, pervert, rapscallion, recreant, scamp, scapegrace, transgressor, wastrel, worthless person II verb …   Law dictionary

  • degenerate — adj corrupt, infamous, *vicious, villainous, iniquitous, nefarious, flagitious Analogous words: degraded, demeaned (see ABASE): debased, depraved, debauched, perverted (see under DEBASE): dissolute, *abandoned, reprobate, profligate …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • degenerate — I. adjective Etymology: Middle English degenerat, from Latin degeneratus, past participle of degenerare to degenerate, from de + gener , genus race, kind more at kin Date: 15th century 1. a. having declined or become less specialized (as in… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • degenerate — degenerates, degenerating, degenerated (The verb is pronounced [[t]dɪʤe̱nəreɪt[/t]]. The adjective and noun are pronounced [[t]dɪʤe̱nərət[/t]].) 1) VERB If you say that someone or something degenerates, you mean that they become worse in some way …   English dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.