Degeneration is a process of decline. Anything that’s getting worse is going through degeneration. A grand old mansion that’s now abandoned and covered with weeds is in a state of degeneration.

When something degenerates, it gets worse in some way, like a house that’s slowly sinking in the mud. This process of decline is called degeneration. The word is from the Latin word degenerare which means "to be inferior to one's ancestors.” Ouch. Now degeneration refers to anything in a state of decline, such as a friendship that was strong and now barely exists.

Definitions of degeneration

n the process of declining from a higher to a lower level of effective power or vitality or essential quality

development, evolution
a process in which something passes by degrees to a different stage (especially a more advanced or mature stage)
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the onset of a corrosive or destructive process (as by a chemical agent)
the process of becoming obsolete; falling into disuse or becoming out of date
macular degeneration
eye disease caused by degeneration of the cells of the macula lutea and results in blurred vision; can cause blindness
AMD, age-related macular degeneration
macular degeneration that is age-related
Type of:
physical process, process
a sustained phenomenon or one marked by gradual changes through a series of states

n the state of being degenerate in mental or moral qualities

decadence, decadency, degeneracy
Type of:
abasement, abjection, degradation
a low or downcast state

n passing from a more complex to a simpler biological form

a loss of vitality and a degeneration of cells and tissues not due to any apparent injury
(biology) degenerative reversion of cells or tissue to a less differentiated or more primitive form
Type of:
shift, transformation, transmutation
a qualitative change

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