Synonyms & Antonyms of degeneration

2 a gradual sinking and wasting away of mind or body
  • the troubling degeneration of his memory since he reached middle age

Synonyms for degeneration

Words Related to degeneration

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Antonyms for degeneration

3 a sinking to a state of low moral standards and behavior
  • the general degeneration that characterized so many old mining towns, which had only drinking and gambling for entertainment

Synonyms for degeneration

Words Related to degeneration

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Frequently Asked Questions About degeneration

How does the noun degeneration differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of degeneration are decadence, decline, and deterioration. While all these words mean "the falling from a higher to a lower level in quality, character, or vitality," degeneration stresses physical, intellectual, or especially moral retrogression.

the degeneration of their youthful idealism into cynicism

When can decadence be used instead of degeneration?

Although the words decadence and degeneration have much in common, decadence presupposes a reaching and passing the peak of development and implies a turn downward with a consequent loss in vitality or energy.

cited love of luxury as a sign of cultural decadence

How are the words decline and decadence related as synonyms of degeneration?

Decline differs from decadence in suggesting a more markedly downward direction and greater momentum as well as more obvious evidence of deterioration.

the meteoric decline of his career after the scandal

In what contexts can deterioration take the place of degeneration?

The words deterioration and degeneration are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, deterioration implies generally the impairment of value or usefulness.

the deterioration of the house through neglect

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Time Traveler for degeneration

Time Traveler

The first known use of degeneration was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Degeneration.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Sep. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on degeneration

Dictionary: Definition of degeneration

Medical Dictionary: Definition of degeneration

Nglish: Translation of degeneration for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of degeneration for Arabic Speakers

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