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Related to degenerate: Degenerate matter

degenerate into (something)

To get worse and enter an unpleasant state. Concerts always seem to degenerate into chaos once it's time to leave the venue. If you don't exercise regularly, your muscles will degenerate into mush.
See also: degenerate

degenerate into something

to decay into something; to break down into something. The peace rally degenerated into a riot. I was afraid that the party would degenerate into a drinking contest.
See also: degenerate
References in classic literature ?
How little real sympathy there exists between us; how many of my thoughts and feelings are gloomily cloistered within my own mind; how much of my higher and better self is indeed unmarried - doomed either to harden and sour in the sunless shade of solitude, or to quite degenerate and fall away for lack of nutriment in this unwholesome soil
He exclaimed scientifically, in the extremity of his astonishment: "The degenerate - by heavens
He was excessively terrified at her - the sister of the degenerate - a degenerate herself of a murdering type .
He was scientific, and he gazed scientifically at that woman, the sister of a degenerate, a degenerate herself - of a murdering type.
As fair Grimalkin, who, though the youngest of the feline family, degenerates not in ferocity from the elder branches of her house, and though inferior in strength, is equal in fierceness to the noble tiger himself, when a little mouse, whom it hath long tormented in sport, escapes from her clutches for a while, frets, scolds, growls, swears; but if the trunk, or box, behind which the mouse lay hid be again removed, she flies like lightning on her prey, and, with envenomed wrath, bites, scratches, mumbles, and tears the little animal.
Over time, this lack of communication has caused genes in the nonrecombining portion of Y to degenerate, prompting most researchers to declare the large region a genetic wasteland.
Research on the bionic human uses modern technologies to enhance and restore human sensory, motor and neural functions, which may degenerate due to aging, injury, genetic disorders and other causes.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington-based watchdog group, says it could degenerate bone mass and endanger fetuses.
Adams and Laughlin call this epoch the degenerate era, because white dwarfs and neutron stars exist in what physicists call a degenerate state.
The American premiere of Walter Braunfels's rarely performed opera Die Voegel, which was branded as degenerate music by the Nazis, kicked off Spoleto Festival USA last weekend.
The human Y chromosome is both a degenerate and a copycat.
He approvingly cites Clint Eastwood's Nixonian defense of Dirty Harry's "law-and-order" rabble-rousing (I guess that film depicted the hippie degenerate killer in terms worthy of a Nazi expose on the Jew-as-parasite so the audience wouldn't be confused as to who the real psycho was).
Some crucial areas of the brain that degenerate in Alzheimer's--regions involved in higher learning--do not even exist in the simpler brains of mice, notes Creighton Phelps, director of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Centers at the National Institute of Aging.
Thus, Rabinowitch's assemblages maintain an irresolvable, internal tension; they never degenerate into readymade geometrical patterns, as, for example, those of Carl Andre and Richard Serra did.
The neurons degenerate quickly, and the mice die within weeks, says Orr.