Advertisement - Continue reading below

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)

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.

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."