- having degenerated; being in a degenerated state
- A situation in which multiple cases correspond to one state.
The genetic code is degenerate because a single amino acid can be coded by one of several codons.
- (intransitive) to lose good or desirable qualities
His condition continued to degenerate even after admission to hospital.
- The Nuttall Encyclopedia
DEGENERATE, adj. Less conspicuously admirable than one's ancestors.
The contemporaries of Homer were striking examples of degeneracy; it
required ten of them to raise a rock or a riot that one of the heroes
of the Trojan war could have raised with ease. Homer never tires of
sneering at "men who live in these degenerate days," which is perhaps
why they suffered him to beg his bread -- a marked instance of
returning good for evil, by the way, for if they had forbidden him he
would certainly have starved.
- 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue
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 one's former state; having declined in worth; having lost in
goodness; deteriorated; degraded; unworthy; base; low.
Faint-hearted and degenerate king.
A degenerate and degraded state.
Degenerate from their ancient
These degenerate days.
I had planted thee a noble vine . . . : how then art
thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto
me? Jer. ii. 21.
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; to deteriorate.
When wit transgresseth decency, it degenerates
into insolence and impiety. Tillotson.
2. (Biol.) To fall off from the normal
quality or the healthy structure of its kind; to become of a lower
- Webster's Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
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