Definition of degenerate in English:


Line breaks: de|gen¦er|ate


Pronunciation: /dɪˈdʒɛn(ə)rət
  • 1Having lost the physical, mental, or moral qualities considered normal and desirable; showing evidence of decline: a degenerate form of a higher civilization
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    • Nor is it good to offer women to butter-bellied Falstaff, too ugly and degenerate to be desirable.
    • Their message about humanity is even more degenerate and degraded than that spouted by the previous administration.
    • No society's moral vision has ever, surely, been more degenerate than that.
    debased, degraded, corrupt, corrupted, vitiated, bastard, impure
  • 2 technical Lacking some usual or expected property or quality, in particular:
    More example sentencesSynonyms
    corrupt, decadent, dissolute, dissipated, debauched, rakish, reprobate, profligate, depraved, perverted, despicable, base, vice-ridden, wicked, sinful, ungodly; immoral, unprincipled, amoral, dishonourable, disreputable, unsavoury, sordid, low, mean, ignoble; lewd, lecherous, lascivious, licentious, libidinous, loose, promiscuous, wanton, libertine, intemperate
    informal pervy
  • 2.1 Mathematics (Of a type of equation, curve, etc.) equivalent to a simpler type, especially when a variable or parameter is set to zero.
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    • If the planes pass through the vertex of the cone, the conics are said to be degenerate, otherwise they are not.
    • Joining the four points in pairs by lines gives six lines; pairing the six lines in three pairs so that each pair passes through all four points yields the three degenerate conies.
    • This point is labelled A 3b, to emphasize that it is a degenerate quadrilateral.
  • 2.2 Physics (Of an energy level) corresponding to more than one quantum state.
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    • A set of degenerate states constitutes an energy level.
    • For example, the p orbital has three possible angular momentum quantum states that are degenerate (of the same energy) under normal circumstances.
    • Energetic frustration arises from the presence of competing interactions, which are degenerate in energy.
  • 2.3 Physics (Of matter) at densities so high that gravitational contraction is counteracted, either by the Pauli exclusion principle or by an analogous quantum effect between closely packed neutrons.
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    • The collapsed core will become a white dwarf, composed of degenerate matter supported by the inability of two electrons to occupy the same space.
    • The pressure due to the ions can then be treated as an ideal gas, but the pressure due to the degenerate electrons is much larger and hence the gas obeys a different equation of state.
    • The pressure maintained by a body of degenerate matter</m> is called the degeneracy pressure.
  • 2.4 Biology Having reverted to a simpler form as a result of losing a complex or adaptive structure present in the ancestral form: degenerate offshoots from the main line of vertebrate progress
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    • Y chromosomes are genetically degenerate in most organisms studied.
    • The coding sequences of most characterized plant retroelements are highly degenerate and are cluttered with stop codons, frameshifts, and deletions.
    • A partly degenerate consensus sequence was created from the Aspergillus and Penicillium sequences to evaluate the statistical significance of this alignment.


Pronunciation: /dɪˈdʒɛn(ə)rət
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Pronunciation: /dɪˈdʒɛnəreɪt
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More example sentences
  • This exploration of the trash of the 20th century proposes a more underground and degenerately perverse origin and use of the medium.
  • He plasters himself all over the guilty pleasures in which he so degenerately indulges.
  • Specifically, electron scattering and transport models are developed for the degenerately doped conditions necessary for very-high-frequency diode operation.


late 15th century: from Latin degeneratus 'no longer of its kind', from the verb degenerare, from degener 'debased', from de- 'away from' + genus, gener- 'race, kind'.

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