• WordNet 3.6
    • adj degenerate unrestrained by convention or morality "Congreve draws a debauched aristocratic society","deplorably dissipated and degraded","riotous living","fast women"
    • v degenerate grow worse "Her condition deteriorated","Conditions in the slums degenerated","The discussion devolved into a shouting match"
    • n degenerate a person whose behavior deviates from what is acceptable especially in sexual behavior
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Ellen DeGeneres was the first stand-up comedian Johnny Carson ever asked to sit on "The Tonight Show" guest couch during a first appearance.
    • a Degenerate 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 blood.""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?"
    • Degenerate 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."
    • Degenerate (Biol) To fall off from the normal quality or the healthy structure of its kind; to become of a lower type.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • degenerate To lose, or become impaired with respect to, the qualities proper to the race or kind, or to a prototype; become of a lower type.
    • degenerate Specifically To decay in quality; pass to an inferior or a worse state; suffer a decline in character or constitution; deteriorate.
    • degenerate Synonyms To deteriorate, decline.
    • degenerate Having lost, or become impaired with respect to, the qualities proper to the race or kind; having been reduced to a lower type.
    • degenerate Specifically Having fallen into a less excellent or a worse state; having declined in physical or moral qualities; deteriorated; degraded.
    • degenerate Characterized by or associated with degeneracy; unworthy; debased: applied to inanimate objects.
    • n degenerate One who has retrograded from a normal type or standard, especially in moral nature and character, and exhibits certain morbid physical and mental traits and tendencies.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Degenerate de-jen′ėr-āt having departed from the high qualities of race or kind: become base—also Degen′erous (obs.)
    • v.i Degenerate to fall from a nobler state: to be or to grow worse
    • ***


  • Dean William R. Inge
    “I think middle-age is the best time, if we can escape the fatty degeneration of the conscience which often sets in at about fifty.”
  • Friedrich Nietzsche
    “Where does one not find that bland degeneration which beer produces in the spirit!”
  • English Saying
    English Saying
    “A degenerate nobleman is like a turnip. There is nothing good of him but that which is underground.”
  • Simone Weil
    “In the Church, considered as a social organism, the mysteries inevitably degenerate into beliefs.”
  • Ellen DeGeneres
    Ellen DeGeneres
    “I was doing stand-up at a restaurant and there was a chalkboard on the street out front. It said, Soup of the Day: Cream of Asparagus. Ellen DeGeneres.”
  • Virgil
    “Fear is proof of a degenerate mind.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
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


In literature:

The standing long and not being removed maketh them degenerate.
"Evolution, Old & New" by Samuel Butler
They come generally from a class of families which seem to have degenerated physically to a low degree.
"Searchlights on Health: Light on Dark Corners" by B.G. Jefferis
His face showed that form of despair so common in those whom whiskey has helped to degenerate.
"The Bishop of Cottontown" by John Trotwood Moore
Throughout, the grief is the grief of a strong soul; it never degenerates into whine.
"Contemporary American Composers" by Rupert Hughes
Such a purpose degenerates into affectation, and becomes a mannerism.
"Elementary Guide to Literary Criticism" by F. V. N. Painter
The subject for discussion was, `That the present Sixth is degenerate.
"The Fifth Form at Saint Dominic's" by Talbot Baines Reed
The man had sunk beneath her; even he, Bill, was more worthy of her than this degenerate son of cities and culture.
"The Snowshoe Trail" by Edison Marshall
But the times are sadly degenerate.
"Seven Little People and their Friends" by Horace Elisha Scudder
We must struggle or we will degenerate.
"The Eugenic Marriage, Vol. 3 (of 4)" by W. Grant Hague
It is because he has degenerated that he has come to talking of Degeneration.
"Eugenics and Other Evils" by G. K. Chesterton

In poetry:

Type of the greater change that then
Upon our hapless nature fell,
When the degenerate hearts of men
Bore sin and all the thorns of hell.
"The Progress Of The Rose" by Denis Florence MacCarthy
Old Capting Pink of the Peppermint —
I`m shocked and I`m pained to say
That there`s few you`ll find of the Capting`s kind
In this here degenerate day.
"Captain Pink of the Peppermint" by Wallace Irwin
But if Regard to Worth or Sense is shewn,
That poor degenerate Child her Friends disown,
Who dares to deviate, by a virtuous Choice,
From her great Name's hereditary Vice.
"An Elegy To A Young Lady" by James Hammond
Or changed by years, forgotten and forgetting,
Dull-eared, dim-sighted, slow of speech and thought,
Still o'er the sad, degenerate present fretting,
Where all goes wrong, and nothing as it ought?
"The Iron Gate" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
And where are they? and where art thou,
My country? On thy voiceless shore
The heroic lay is tuneless now-
The heroic bosom beats no more!
And must thy lyre, so long divine,
Degenerate into hands like mine?
"Don Juan: Canto The Third" by Lord George Gordon Byron
And where are they? And where art thou?
My country? On thy voiceless shore
The heroic lay is tuneless now—
The heroic bosom beats no more!
And must thy lyre, so long divine,
Degenerate into hands like mine?
"The Isles Of Greece" by Lord George Gordon Byron

In news:

Miley Cyrus and Ellen DeGeneres Photo Credits: Ellen.
The former child star was chatting about her upcoming marriage to actor Liam Hemsworth with US TV host Ellen DeGeneres when a light bulb appeared to blow in the studio.
"She is a good baby," she told DeGeneres.
Behind the scenes of Jodi Fisher's appearance on the 'Ellen DeGeneres Show'.
Heidi Klum has moved on from her ex-hubby of seven years, Seal, and is openly dating her bodyguard , which she opened up about in a sneak peek of her appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show obtained by
Taken star Liam Neeson stripped down to his skivvies on the Ellen DeGeneres Show to raise money for cancer research and has the revealing video clip.
Talk show host Ellen Degeneres spoke with Boy Scout Ryan Andresen who was denied his Eagle Scout pin due to his sexual orientation.
The Pirates of the Caribbean star opened up about her engagement to The Klaxons rocker James Righton during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, admitting she is clueless about traditional wedding customs.
During an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Dec 13, the 27-year-old actress reenacted a night out she had with her Les Miserables costars at a karaoke bar in Japan.
Christina Aguilera told Ellen DeGeneres that she couldn't keep her eyes off Hillary either.
Cinco de Mayo isn't known for it's surprises but that didn't stop Ellen DeGeneres from giving her audience members this memorable treat.
Christina Aguilera and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres Credit: Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.
"I like to be free," she explained on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Dec 7.
With that in mind, the country superstar proved he has a good sense of humor Wednesday when he poked fun of himself in a spoof of his new cologne Phoenix during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Meeting DeGeneres dream come true for moms of sick child.

In science:

We see that S is non degenerate if degenerate solutions (det[qab ] = 0) are excluded.
A note on topological brane theories
In these examples, the GIT-boundary parametrizes degenerate forms of varieties, so that this boundary is naturally stratified with strata parametrizing degenerate varieties of the same type.
Compactifications defined by arrangements I: the ball quotient case
We call strictly degenerate those degenerate events, for which Pr([[c]]n = 0 or 1) for all but finitely many n.
The temporal calculus of conditional objects and conditional events
Example 3.14 [The degenerate case] Any coassociative coalgebra C with coproduct ∆ can be embedded into a L-coalgebra structure in a non degenerate way.
Coassociativity breaking and oriented graphs
In principle, more than three ground states can be degenerate at a point but, for a continuous distribution of random fields, the probability of more than three degenerate ground states vanishes.
Ground state numerical study of the three-dimensional random field Ising model