What does degenerate mean?

Definitions for degeneratedɪˈdʒɛn əˌreɪt; -ər ɪt

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word degenerate.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. pervert, deviant, deviate, degenerate(adj)

    a person whose behavior deviates from what is acceptable especially in sexual behavior

  2. debauched, degenerate, degraded, dissipated, dissolute, libertine, profligate, riotous, fast(verb)

    unrestrained by convention or morality

    "Congreve draws a debauched aristocratic society"; "deplorably dissipated and degraded"; "riotous living"; "fast women"

  3. devolve, deteriorate, drop, degenerate(verb)

    grow worse

    "Her condition deteriorated"; "Conditions in the slums degenerated"; "The discussion devolved into a shouting match"


  1. degenerate(n.)

    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.

  2. degenerate(n.)

    a person or thing that has fallen from a higher to a lower state, or reverted to an earlier type or stage of development or culture. RHUD


  1. degenerate(Noun)

    One is degenerate, who has fallen from previous stature.

    You are a degenerate, boy. You're a disgrace to your ancestors.

  2. degenerate(Verb)

    (of humans or systems) to lose good or desirable qualities;

    His condition continued to degenerate even after admission to hospital.

  3. degenerate(Adjective)

    (of qualities) having deteriorated, degraded or fallen from normal, coherent, balanced and desirable to an undesirable and typically abnormal

  4. degenerate(Adjective)

    (of a human or system) having lost good or desirable qualities

  5. degenerate(Adjective)

    (of an encoding or function) having multiple domain elements correspond to one element of the range

    The genetic code is degenerate because a single amino acid can be coded by one of several codons.

  6. degenerate(Adjective)

    a degenerate case is a limiting case in which a class of object changes its nature so as to belong to another, usually simpler, class.

  7. degenerate(Adjective)

    Having the same quantum energy level

  8. Origin: From degeneratus, past participle of degenerare, from degener, from de + genus; see genus, general.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Degenerate(adj)

    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

  2. Degenerate(verb)

    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

  3. Degenerate(verb)

    to fall off from the normal quality or the healthy structure of its kind; to become of a lower type

  4. Origin: [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.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Degenerate

    de-jen′ėr-āt, adj. having departed from the high qualities of race or kind: become base—also Degen′erous (obs.).—v.i. to fall from a nobler state: to be or to grow worse.—v.i. Degen′der (Spens.), to degenerate.—ns. Degen′eracy, Degenerā′tion, the act or process of becoming degenerate: the state of being degenerate.—adv. Degen′erately.—n. Degen′erateness.—adj. Degen′erating.—n. Degenerā′tionist, one who believes that the tendency of man is not to improve, but to degenerate.—adj. Degen′erative, tending or causing to degenerate. [L. degenerāre, -ātum, to depart from its kind—de, from, down, genus, genĕris, kind.]


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of degenerate in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of degenerate in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. John Walsh:

    Mets fans are more degenerate.

  2. Peter Drucker:

    Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.

  3. Baron de la Brede et de Montesquieu:

    It is not the young people that degenerate they are not spoiled till those of mature age are already sunk into corruption.

  4. Hamadou Saley:

    We can protest peacefully to show our disapproval but things can only degenerate if authorities unjustly employ brutal force.

  5. Elias Boudinot:

    Good government generally begins in the family, and if the moral character of a people once degenerate, their political character must soon follow.

Images & Illustrations of degenerate

  1. degeneratedegeneratedegenerate

Translations for degenerate

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • израждам се, дегенерирал, дегенерирам, изроденBulgarian
  • entartenGerman
  • degeneroitua, degeneroidaFinnish
  • dégénérerFrench
  • meathlaighIrish
  • rach bhuaitheScottish Gaelic
  • מנווןHebrew
  • elfajultHungarian
  • degenerarIdo
  • degenerareItalian
  • pūwhenua, tauheke, pouāwai, tipuhekeMāori
  • degenerat, degenerować sięPolish
  • degenerat, degenera, degradat, degradaRomanian
  • выродившийся, испорченный, вырождаться, дегенерат, опустившийся, ухудшившийся, вырожденный, дегенерировать, выродокRussian

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