degeneracy

noun

de·​gen·​er·​a·​cy di-ˈjen-rə-sē How to pronounce degeneracy (audio)
-ˈje-nə-,
dē-
plural degeneracies
1
: the state of being degenerate
2
: the process of becoming degenerate
3
: sexual perversion
4
: the coding of an amino acid by more than one codon

Examples of degeneracy in a Sentence

the sad degeneracy of the old neighborhood into a slum the degeneracy of the family into a gang of petty thieves
Recent Examples on the Web America, Where the Dogs Don’t Bark and the Birds Don’t Sing The Comte de Buffon's thirty-six volume Natural History claimed that America was a land of degeneracy. JSTOR Daily, 24 June 2024 This is how pop stars validate the unconscionable — from selfishness to degeneracy and crime. Armond White, National Review, 15 Nov. 2023 But the shadow of degeneracy still looms large. WIRED, 21 Feb. 2023 In effect, compounding interest (historically low for the past decade but lately headed upwards) must outrun the costs of taxation (declining globally), procreation (declining in wealthier countries), and the loafing and degeneracy that attend the inheritance of great fortunes. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 14 Sep. 2022 The stories she’s heard — of cruelty and degeneracy, bravery and ingenuity — stagger the imagination. Los Angeles Times, 28 Aug. 2022 The action, by more than half the Republican members of the House and almost a quarter of GOP senators, may rank among the most cynically contrived, morally contemptible, soul-corrupting acts of political degeneracy ever attempted. Gerard Baker, WSJ, 4 Jan. 2021 Here’s the latest on degeneracy Superb Lucas Brouwers post on the origins of a frog-killing fungusWe are all connected: a beautiful short video from the WWF showing the humans and other animals juxtaposed in split-screen, shot for shot. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 26 Nov. 2011 The physicists say the behavior is an example of the concept of degeneracy. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 5 July 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'degeneracy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1664, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of degeneracy was in 1664

Dictionary Entries Near degeneracy

Cite this Entry

“Degeneracy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/degeneracy. Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

degeneracy

noun
de·​gen·​er·​a·​cy di-ˈjen-(ə-)rə-sē How to pronounce degeneracy (audio)
plural degeneracies
: the state of being or process of becoming degenerate : degradation, debasement

Medical Definition

degeneracy

noun
de·​gen·​er·​a·​cy di-ˈjen-(ə-)rə-sē How to pronounce degeneracy (audio)
plural degeneracies
1
: the state of being degenerate
2
: the process of becoming degenerate
3
: sexual perversion
4
: the coding of an amino acid by more than one codon of the genetic code

More from Merriam-Webster on degeneracy

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