The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Degenerate \De*gen"er*ate\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Degenerated;
p. pr. & vb. n. Degenerating.]
1. To be or grow worse than one's kind, or than one was
originally; hence, to be inferior; to grow poorer, meaner,
or more vicious; to decline in good qualities; to
When wit transgresseth decency, it degenerates into
insolence and impiety. --Tillotson.
2. (Biol.) To fall off from the normal quality or the healthy
structure of its kind; to become of a lower type.