Meaning of DEGENERATE in English

DEGENERATE

I. de ‧ gen ‧ e ‧ rate 1 /dɪˈdʒenəreɪt/ BrE AmE verb [intransitive]

to become worse

degenerate into

The conference degenerated into a complete fiasco.

—degeneration /dɪˌdʒenəˈreɪʃ ə n/ noun [uncountable]

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THESAURUS

▪ deteriorate to become worse:

Air quality is rapidly deteriorating in our cities.

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Living conditions here have deteriorated in the past few years.

▪ get worse to become worse. Get worse is less formal and more common than deteriorate in everyday English:

My eyesight seems to be getting worse.

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He’s never been well-behaved, but he’s getting even worse.

▪ go down to become gradually worse – used especially about the standard of something:

The hotel’s gone down since its management changed.

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Nick’s teachers say that his work has gone down recently.

▪ go downhill to become much worse and be in a very bad condition, especially after a particular time or event:

During the recession the business began to go downhill.

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Her health went downhill rapidly after Christmas.

▪ decline especially written to become gradually worse – used especially about standards of living, education, health etc:

After the war, the standard of living declined.

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Over the years, the standard of public transport has declined.

▪ degenerate formal to become worse, or to become something bad instead of something good:

Relations between the two countries have degenerated.

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The debate degenerated into an argument between the two sides.

▪ escalate to become much worse very quickly – used especially about fighting, violence, or a bad situation:

Further violence could escalate into a full-scale armed conflict.

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The political crisis escalated.

▪ spiral out of control to become worse in a way that cannot be controlled and is extremely serious and worrying:

Police say that the violence has spiralled out of control.

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Scientists are worried that global warming could soon spiral out of control.

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Costs have been spiralling out of control.

II. de ‧ gen ‧ e ‧ rate 2 /dɪˈdʒenərət, dɪˈdʒenərɪt/ BrE AmE adjective

[ Date: 1400-1500 ; Language: Latin ; Origin: degeneratus , from genus 'type, kind, race' ]

formal morally unacceptable:

The painting was condemned as ‘degenerate’.

III. degenerate 3 BrE AmE noun [countable]

someone whose behaviour is considered to be morally unacceptable

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.