degenerate into

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in classic literature ?
Such a scheme, if practicable at all, would instantly degenerate into a military despotism; but it will be found in every light impracticable.
More often than not, these programmes degenerate into shouting matches and end up resembling fish markets rather than forums for informed debate.
National Hurricane Center says Fred is expected to degenerate into a remnant low pressure area on Friday night or Saturday.
Madrid: Spain's interior minister warned in an interview published on Sunday there was a "real" risk that Catalan government's push for independence could degenerate into violence.
The lessons from the Occupied Territories ought to also weigh heavily on Lebanese leaders, who have also shown a propensity to allow their power struggles to degenerate into violence that claims the lives of innocent victims.
His soup cans and Jell-O could degenerate into the kids' favorite foods.
In a shot peening operation, the shot will break or degenerate into unacceptable shapes and sizes.
I find it hard to believe that Richter's work would degenerate into "a mindless display of forearm virtuosity" absent any single concept that might be used to address it, but I stand corrected on the misuse of the term, and thank my corrector.
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.
Clair's show explores how classification - the favorite methodology of science and anthropology - can degenerate into fascism.