Definition for DE-GEN'ER-ATE

DE-GEN'ER-ATE, v.i. [L. degenero, from degener, grown worse, ignoble, base; de and gener, genus; Fr. degenerer; Sp. degenerar.]

To become worse; to decay in good qualities; to pass from a good to a bad or worse state; to lose or suffer a diminution of valuable qualities, either in the natural or moral world. In the natural world, plants and animals degenerate when they grow to a less size than usual, or lose a part of the valuable qualities which belong to the species. In the moral world, men degenerate when they decline in virtue, or other good qualities. Manners degenerate when they become corrupt. Wit may degenerate into indecency or impiety.

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