degenerate

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Latin degeneratus, past participle of degenerare (to degenerate), from degener (ignoble), from de (from, down) + genus (race, kind); see genus, general.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

degenerate (comparative more degenerate, superlative most degenerate)

  1. (of qualities) Having deteriorated, degraded or fallen from normal, coherent, balanced and desirable to undesirable and typically abnormal.
    • Shakespeare
      faint-hearted and degenerate king
    • Jonathan Swift
      degenerate from their ancient blood
    • 2013 March 1, Harold J. Morowitz, “The Smallest Cell”, American Scientist, volume 101, number 2, page 83: 
      It is likely that the long evolutionary trajectory of Mycoplasma went from a reductive autotroph to oxidative heterotroph to a cell-wall–defective degenerate parasite. This evolutionary trajectory assumes the simplicity to complexity route of biogenesis, a point of view that is not universally accepted.
  2. (of a human or system) Having lost good or desirable qualities.
  3. (of an encoding or function) Having multiple domain elements correspond to one element of the range.
    The genetic code is degenerate because a single amino acid can be coded by one of several codons.
  4. (mathematics) A degenerate case is a limiting case in which a class of object changes its nature so as to belong to another, usually simpler, class.
  5. (physics) Having the same quantum energy level.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

degenerate (plural degenerates)

  1. One is degenerate, who has fallen from previous stature.
    You are a degenerate, boy. You're a disgrace to your ancestors.

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

degenerate (third-person singular simple present degenerates, present participle degenerating, simple past and past participle degenerated)

  1. (intransitive) To lose good or desirable qualities.
    His condition continued to degenerate even after admission to hospital.
    • 1870, Shirley Hibberd, Rustic Adornments for Homes of Taste (page 170)
      Another bird quickly learned to imitate the song of a canary that was mated with it, but as the parrakeet improved in the performance the canary degenerated, and came at last to mingle the other bird's harsh chitterings with its own proper music.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

External links[edit]


Italian[edit]

Adjective[edit]

degenerate f

  1. Feminine plural form of degenerato

Noun[edit]

degenerate f

  1. plural form of degenerata

Verb[edit]

degenerate

  1. second-person plural present indicative of degenerare
  2. second-person plural imperative of degenerare
  3. feminine plural of degenerato

Latin[edit]

Verb[edit]

dēgenerāte

  1. second-person plural present active imperative of dēgenerō