Origin of degenerate

1485–95; < Latin dēgenerātus (past participle of dēgenerāre to decline from an ancestral standard), equivalent to de- + gener-, stem of genus race (see genus) + -ātus -ate1; see generate

Related forms

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for degenerate

British Dictionary definitions for degenerate

degenerate

verb (dɪˈdʒɛnəˌreɪt) (intr)

to become degenerate
biology (of organisms or their parts) to become less specialized or functionally useless

adjective (dɪˈdʒɛnərɪt)

noun (dɪˈdʒɛnərɪt)

a degenerate person

Derived Forms

degenerately, adverbdegenerateness, noun

Word Origin for degenerate

C15: from Latin dēgenerāre, from dēgener departing from its kind, ignoble, from de- + genus origin, race
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medicine definitions for degenerate

degenerate

[ dĭ-jĕnər-ĭt ]

adj.

Characterized by degeneration, as of tissue, a cell, or an organ.
Having lost one or more highly developed functions, characteristics, or structures through evolution.

v.

To undergo the process of degeneration.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.