degenerate: Meaning and Definition of
Pronunciation: (v.di-jen'u-rāt"adj., n.di-jen'ur-it), [key]
— v., adj., n. -at•ed, -at•ing,
- 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.
- to diminish in quality, esp. from a former state of coherence, balance, integrity, etc.: The debate degenerated into an exchange of insults.
- to lose functional activity, as a tissue or organ.
- (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.
- to cause degeneration in; bring about a decline, deterioration, or reversion in.
- having fallen below a normal or desirable level, esp. in physical or moral qualities; deteriorated; degraded: a degenerate king.
- having lost, or become impaired with respect to, the qualities proper to the race or kind: a degenerate vine.
- characterized by or associated with degeneracy: degenerate times.
- pertaining to a limiting case of a mathematical system that is more symmetrical or simpler in form than the general case.
- (of modes of vibration of a system) having the same frequency.
- (of quantum states of a system) having equal energy.
- a person who has declined, as in morals or character, from a type or standard considered normal.
- a person or thing that reverts to an earlier stage of culture, development, or evolution.
- a sexual deviate.
- degenerate (Thesaurus)