degenerate into (something)

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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. © 2015 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 periodicals archive ?
Summary: An incident involving the accidental death of a chicken in the village of Debaal in south Lebanon degenerated into a scuffle Thursday between four people, with one stabbing the other in the back.
But now the process has degenerated into some kind of race hunting.
Numerous alleged celebrities indulged themselves crass contests degenerated into food, paint Fuelled by copious amounts of alcohol, dressed in jockey's silks and waving the odd whip, numerous alleged celebrities indulged themselves in crass infantile contests that degenerated into gratuitous food, drink and paint fights which, while paying admirable tribute to the iconic Tiswas, cheapened and degraded the world's greatest steeplechase.
At least 30 people, including children, gathered in Park Street, Penrhiwceiber, to watch as the screaming of obscenities and threats degenerated into a physical struggle.
Tropical Depression Bonnie degenerated into an area of low pressure on Saturday as it started to affect portions of the northern Gulf coast from Louisiana eastward to the Florida Panhandle, forecasters said.
The incident mirrored one that occurred at the same church last year, when the situation degenerated into something of a free-for-all, with sash wearers attempting to pluck Communion off plates and a demonstrator distributing broken bits of the host to cohorts.
Once renowned as the mother of parliaments and birthplace of the Anglo-Saxon tradition of liberty under law, England has degenerated into a dismal socialist wasteland where law-abiding citizens are imprisoned for using firearms to defend their homes from armed robbers.
It amused a friend of mine who is a makeup artist and who had to go through the fandango of "what shade of base would you like, Sir Ben?" By the end of the shoot, the conversation had degenerated into "Would you like me to ram this brush where the sun don't shine, Sir Ben?"
The dialogue, which was snappy and profound in the first season, has degenerated into bitchiness.
His work reveals hoarding to be a universal human impulse that can become literally suffocating in those cases in which a disinclination to edit has degenerated into a kind of mania.
Dutch accused him of bullying his wife, and the situation degenerated into a shouting match between the husbands.
It is a tribute then to the indefatigable American worker that he or she persistently manages to produce an enormous quantity of worthwhile goods and services despite widespread reports that he or she has degenerated into a shiftless loafer and lecher, and that the workplace itself has descended into a maelstrom-like state of advanced entropy.
The experiment, intended to last two weeks, rapidly degenerated into a seething stew of cruelty and depression, and the experimenters were forced to cancel it after six days.
What was intended as a routine work inspection survey degenerated into a mudslinging battle.
Items: "The exchange of ideas between married couples is said on average still to claim five or six minutes a day." The family "has degenerated into a limited place of reproduction and ...