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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

OTHER WORDS FROM degenerate

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use degenerate in a sentence

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 of degenerate

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

Medical 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.
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