degenerative

adjective de·gen·er·a·tive \ di-ˈje-nə-rə-tiv , -ˈjen-rə- ; -ˈje-nə-ˌrā- ; dē- \
Updated on: 6 Dec 2017

Definition of degenerative

: of, relating to, involving, or causing degeneration
  • a degenerative disease

Recent Examples of degenerative from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'degenerative.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Degenerative diseases—including cancer, glaucoma, Parkinson's, diabetes, arthritis, and leprosy—are usually contrasted with infectious diseases (diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa). However, many infectious diseases (Lyme disease, AIDS, etc.) can cause a body or body part to degenerate, and infective organisms play a part in some degenerative diseases. Some degenerative diseases can be controlled; some can even be cured. But no one has yet discovered a way to reverse such degenerative conditions as multiple sclerosis, emphysema, or Alzheimer's.

First Known Use of degenerative

circa 1846


DEGENERATIVE Defined for English Language Learners

degenerative

adjective

Definition of degenerative for English Language Learners

  • medical : causing the body or part of the body to become weaker or less able to function as time passes


Medical Dictionary

degenerative

adjective de·gen·er·a·tive \ di-ˈjen-ə-ˌrāt-iv , -ˈjen-(ə-)rət- \

medical Definition of degenerative

: of, relating to, involving, or tending to cause degeneration
  • degenerative conditions of the nervous system
  • —Morris Fishbein
  • degenerative changes
  • a degenerative muscle disorder


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