De*gen"er*ate (?), a. [L. degeneratus, p. p. of degenerare to degenerate, cause to degenerate, fr. degener base, degenerate, that departs from its race or kind; de- + genus race, kind. See Kin relationship.] Having become worse than one's kind, or one's former state; having declined in worth; having lost in goodness; deteriorated; degraded; unworthy; base; low.

Faint-hearted and degenerate king.

A degenerate and degraded state.

Degenerate from their ancient blood.

These degenerate days.

I had planted thee a noble vine . . . : how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me?
Jer. ii. 21.

De*gen"er*ate (?), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Degenerated; p. pr. & vb. n. Degenerating.] 1. To be or grow worse than one's kind, or than one was originally; hence, to be inferior; to grow poorer, meaner, or more vicious; to decline in good qualities; to deteriorate.

When wit transgresseth decency, it degenerates into insolence and impiety.

2. (Biol.) To fall off from the normal quality or the healthy structure of its kind; to become of a lower type.