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[dih-jen-uh-rey-shuh n] /dɪˌdʒɛn əˈreɪ ʃən/
the process of degenerating.
the condition or state of being degenerate.
  1. a process by which a tissue deteriorates, loses functional activity, and may become converted into or replaced by other kinds of tissue.
  2. the condition produced by such a process.
Origin of degeneration
1475-85; < Late Latin dēgenerātiōn- (stem of dēgenerātiō). See de-, generation
Related forms
nondegeneration, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for degeneration
  • Macular degeneration is an eye disorder that damages the center of the retina, which is called the macula.
  • Being weightless for the entire mission would cause degeneration of muscles, bones, and the heart.
  • Similar compounds are also in trials against the eye disease macular degeneration.
  • Macular degeneration is an eye disorder that slowly destroys sharp, central vision.
  • Until then, let's debate the inevitability of blog degeneration.
  • The problem is then to be traced back from the individuals who founded a human race prone to degeneration.
  • He has publicly complained about the event's supposed degeneration from its former edgy dangerousness and total freedom.
  • Age-related macular degeneration is a common eye disease that gradually destroys central vision.
  • The degeneration has spread to journalistic news coverage.
  • Without integrity or completeness, there is degeneration.
British Dictionary definitions for degeneration


the process of degenerating
the state of being degenerate
(biology) the loss of specialization, function, or structure by organisms and their parts, as in the development of vestigial organs
  1. impairment or loss of the function and structure of cells or tissues, as by disease or injury, often leading to death (necrosis) of the involved part
  2. the resulting condition
(electronics) negative feedback of a signal
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for degeneration

c.1600, from French dégéneration (15c.) or directly from Late Latin degenerationem (nominative degeneratio), noun of action from past participle stem of Latin degenerare (see degenerate (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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degeneration in Medicine

degeneration de·gen·er·a·tion (dĭ-jěn'ə-rā'shən)

  1. The gradual deterioration of specific tissues, cells, or organs with impairment or loss of function, caused by injury, disease, or aging.

  2. The evolutionary decline or loss of a function, characteristic, or structure in an organism or a species.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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