1 having lost the physical, mental, or moral qualities considered normal and desirable; showing evidence of decline : a degenerate form of a higher civilization. See note at depraved .
2 technical lacking some property, order, or distinctness of structure previously or usually present, in particular
• Mathematics relating to or denoting an example of a particular type of equation, curve, or other entity that is equivalent to a simpler type, often occurring when a variable or parameter is set to zero.
• Physics relating to or denoting an energy level that corresponds to more than one quantum state.
• Physics relating to or denoting 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.
• Biology having reverted to a simpler form as a result of losing a complex or adaptive structure present in the ancestral form.
noun |diˈjenərit| |dɪˈdʒɛn(ə)rət|
an immoral or corrupt person.
verb |diˈjenəˌrāt| |dəˈdʒɛn(ə)ˈreɪt| |diˈdʒɛn(ə)ˈreɪt| |dɪˈdʒɛnəreɪt| [ intrans. ]
decline or deteriorate physically, mentally, or morally : the quality of life had degenerated | the debate degenerated into a brawl.
degeneracy |-rəsē| |dəˈdʒɛn(ə)rəsi| |diˈdʒɛn(ə)rəsi| noun
degenerately |-ritlē| |dəˈdʒɛn(ə)rətli| |diˈdʒɛn(ə)rətli| adverb
ORIGIN late 15th cent.: from Latin degeneratus ‘no longer of its kind,’ from the verb degenerare, from degener ‘debased,’ from de- ‘away from’ + genus, gener- ‘race, kind.’
deprave |diˈprāv|verb [ trans. ]make (someone) immoral or wicked : this book would deprave and corrupt young children.DERIVATIVESdepravation |ˌdeprəˈvā sh ən| |ˈdɛprəˈveɪʃən| |dɛprəˈveɪʃ(ə)n| nounORIGIN late Middle English (in the sense [pervert the meaning or intention of something]): from Old French depraver or Latin depravare, from de- ‘down, thoroughly’ + pravus‘crooked, perverse.’