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 ?
The structure degenerates into tyranny only when fundamental relationships between people become dependent on power.
I point out this critical difference because the term synecdoche so fully realizes Richter's work, as has been noted by Benjamin Buchloh, to whom Storr refers in his piece as being "unquestionably among Richter's most important critics." Without the concept of synecdoche, Richter's work degenerates into a mindless display of forearm virtuosity.
And businessmen prefer to think of themselves as victims of political extortion, not as initiators of bribes," all the while "government degenerates into a sea of iniquity." Amazingly, these words are not taken from current news columns on Russia, but from The Titan, Ron Chernov's biography of the oil magnate John D.
Likewise, his usually clear and effective writing degenerates into such phrasing as "entrepreneurial enterprise" (97).
When he tries to break things off, their meeting degenerates into a brawl in which he accidentally kills her husband.
Moreover, at a moment when criticism too frequently degenerates into false polemics around the opposition between easy-on-the-eyes and intellectually engaging, Grant delivers sculptures that are both flat-out gorgeous and in their place and time quite astute.
Siekmann's exploration of Bakunin never degenerates into didactic directions or pseudotheoretical digressions; rather the artist uses his sketches to communicate his own notion of utopia and his thoughts about a viable anarchistic society - a society of participants.