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, for example weaker, lower in quality, or more dangerous.

Inactivity can make your joints stiff, and the bones may begin to degenerate...

From then on the whole tone of the campaign began to degenerate.

[V into n] ...a very serious humanitarian crisis which could degenerate into a catastrophe.

Syn:
Derived words:
degeneration [[t]dɪʤe̱nəre͟ɪʃ(ə)n[/t]] N-UNCOUNT

...various forms of physical and mental degeneration.

...the degeneration of our political system.

2) ADJ-GRADED (disapproval) If you describe a person or their behaviour as degenerate, you disapprove of them because you think they have low standards of behaviour or morality.

...a group of degenerate computer hackers.

...the degenerate attitudes he found among some of his fellow officers.

Syn:
3) N-COUNT (disapproval) If you refer to someone as a degenerate, you disapprove of them because you think they have low standards of behaviour or morality.

English dictionary. 2008.

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

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