Definition of "degenerate" []

  • Having declined, as in function or nature, from a former or original state: a degenerate form of an ancient folk art. (adjective)
  • Having fallen to an inferior or undesirable state, especially in mental or moral qualities. (adjective)
  • Physics Relating to two or more quantum states that share the same quantum numbers: degenerate energy levels. (adjective)
  • Physics Characterized by great density and consisting of atoms stripped of electrons: degenerate matter. (adjective)
  • Medicine Characterized by degeneration, as of tissue, a cell, or an organ. (adjective)
  • To become degenerate (verb)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • (of organisms or their parts) to become less specialized or functionally useless (verb)
  • Having declined or deteriorated to a lower mental, moral, or physical level; debased; degraded; corrupt (adjective)
  • (of the constituents of a system) having the same energy but different wave functions (adjective)
  • (of a semiconductor) containing a similar number of electrons in the conduction band to the number of electrons in the conduction band of metals (adjective)
  • (of a resonant device) having two or more modes of equal frequency (adjective)
  • (of a code) containing symbols that represent more than one letter, figure, etc (adjective)
  • (of a plant or animal) having undergone degeneration (adjective)
  • A degenerate person (noun) (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 2016

Use "degenerate" in a sentence
  • "I can think of no more potent objection to such inclusive use of the term degenerate, than the fact that Lombroso includes, under the signs of degeneration, the enormous development of the cerebral speech-area in the case of an accomplished orator."
  • "The word degenerate has appeared in 43 New York Times articles in the past year, including on June 25 in Sit Up Straight."
  • "Learn more about the word "degenerate" and see usage examples across a range of subjects on the dictionary."