Meaning of DEGENERATE in English



Pronunciation: di- ' jen-r ə t, - ' je-n ə -, d ē -

Function: adjective

Etymology: Middle English degenerat, from Latin degeneratus, past participle of degenerare to degenerate, from de- + gener-, genus race, kind ― more at KIN

Date: 15th century

1 a : having declined or become less specialized (as in nature, character, structure, or function) from an ancestral or former state b : having sunk to a condition below that which is normal to a type especially : having sunk to a lower and usually corrupt and vicious state c : DEGRADED 2

2 : being mathematically simpler (as by having a factor or constant equal to zero) than the typical case <a degenerate hyperbola>

3 : characterized by atoms stripped of their electrons and by very great density < degenerate matter> also : consisting of degenerate matter <a degenerate star>

4 : having two or more states or subdivisions < degenerate energy level>

5 : having more than one codon representing an amino acid also : being such a codon

synonyms see VICIOUS

– de · gen · er · ate · ly adverb

– de · gen · er · ate · ness noun

Merriam Webster Collegiate English Dictionary.      Merriam Webster - Энциклопедический словарь английского языка.