Definition of degeneration
1 : degenerate (see 1degenerate) condition
2 : a lowering of effective power, vitality, or essential quality to an enfeebled and worsened kind or state the country's degeneration into chaos … enacts the degeneration of politics into televisual entertainment … — Linda Holt
3 : intellectual, moral, or artistic decline Many of her stories show the degeneration of a principled person into a lethal one … — Susannah Clapp … argue that the tradition has radically devolved, and that books like “The Kiss,” by Kathryn Harrison, represent the degeneration of a once ennobled form. — Deborah E. McDowell
4 biology a : progressive deterioration of physical characters from a level representing the norm of earlier generations or formsb : deterioration of a tissue or an organ in which its function is diminished or its structure is impaired a degeneration of cartilage
Examples of degeneration in a Sentence
the organization's degeneration from a movement for political reform to just another political party
the troubling degeneration of his memory since he reached middle age
Recent Examples of degeneration from the Web
Her flying career ended in 1992 due to macular degeneration, the Clinic said.
Whittaker found that Indira had moderately crossed eyes, the beginnings of retinal degeneration, and thick, rock-hard cataracts on both eyes.
Niemtzow, an oncologist, also sees acupuncture as a way to treat obesity and macular degeneration.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'degeneration'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Synonym Discussion of degeneration
Medical Definition of degeneration
1: intellectual or moral decline tending toward dissolution of character or integrity : a progressive worsening of personal adjustment
2a: progressive deterioration of physical characters from a level representing the norm of earlier generations or forms : regression of the morphology of a group or kind of organism toward a simpler less highly organized state parasitism leads to degenerationb: deterioration of a tissue or an organ in which its vitality is diminished or its structure impaired; especially : deterioration in which specialized cells are replaced by less specialized cells (as in fibrosis or in malignancies) or in which cells are functionally impaired (as by deposition of abnormal matter in the tissue)
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