verb (used without object), de·gen·er·at·ed, de·gen·er·at·ing.
verb (used with object), de·gen·er·at·ed, de·gen·er·at·ing.
- (of modes of vibration of a system) having the same frequency.
- (of quantum states of a system) having equal energy.
- degeneracy pressure,
- degenerate matter,
- degenerate state,
- degenerative joint disease
Origin of degenerate
verb (dɪˈdʒɛnəˌreɪt) (intr)
- (of the constituents of a system) having the same energy but different wave functions
- (of a semiconductor) containing a similar number of electrons in the conduction band to the number of electrons in the conduction band of metals
- (of a resonant device) having two or more modes of equal frequency
Word Origin for degenerate
1540s, from Latin degeneratus, past participle of degenerare "fall from ancestral quality" (see degenerate (adj.)). Figurative sense of "to fall off, decline" was in Latin. Related: Degenerated; degenerating.
late 15c., from Latin degeneratus, past participle of degenerare "to be inferior to one's ancestors, to become unlike one's race or kind, fall from ancestral quality," used of physical as well as moral qualities, from phrase de genere, from de + genus (genitive generis) "birth, descent" (see genus). The noun is from 1550s.