Flash forward to our own bloody 20th century and the Nazi bonfires of Jewish, anti-Nazi, and other “degenerate” books.
Then, with a grin, “And we all know how degenerate those people are.”
The popular narrative is that Hitler and his Nazi regime thought all modern art was "degenerate."
He is a progenitor of what could be called the degenerate school of American fiction.
The Guardian warns, in a page-wide headline, that it could degenerate into a fiasco of Suez 1956 proportions.
I am now an old, but 164 healthy skeleton, and degenerate much towards the machine.
We modify it in these degenerate days to "blood will have money:"
Chemistry was for them a branch of natural science; of late years it has too much tended to degenerate into a handicraft.
Yet these country-people are no more corrupt or degenerate than the townspeople.
Shame on you, degenerate sons of a brave and chivalrous ancestry!
late 15c., from Latin degeneratus, past participle of degenerare "to be inferior to one's ancestors, to become unlike one's race or kind, fall from ancestral quality," used of physical as well as moral qualities, from phrase de genere, from de + genus (genitive generis) "birth, descent" (see genus). The noun is from 1550s.
1540s, from Latin degeneratus, past participle of degenerare "fall from ancestral quality" (see degenerate (adj.)). Figurative sense of "to fall off, decline" was in Latin. Related: Degenerated; degenerating.
degenerate de·gen·er·ate (dĭ-jěn'ər-ĭt)
Characterized by degeneration, as of tissue, a cell, or an organ.
Having lost one or more highly developed functions, characteristics, or structures through evolution.