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