degeneration

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Synonym Chooser

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

Thesaurus Entries Near degeneration

Cite this Entry

“Degeneration.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/degeneration. Accessed 1 Feb. 2023.

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