top of page
The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce degenerative (audio)

Dictionary definition of degenerative

Characterized by a gradual decline or deterioration in the quality or functioning of something over time.
"Aging is associated with degenerative changes in the body."

Detailed meaning of degenerative

This term is often used in medical contexts to describe conditions or diseases that cause a progressive loss of function or structural damage to organs, tissues, or cells. For example, degenerative disc disease is a condition where the intervertebral discs between the vertebrae of the spine gradually deteriorate, leading to chronic pain and reduced mobility. Degenerative changes can also occur in other areas of the body, such as the joints (osteoarthritis), the brain (Alzheimer's disease), or the eyes (age-related macular degeneration). In general, degenerative conditions tend to worsen over time and can significantly impact a person's quality of life.

Example sentences containing degenerative

1. The degenerative condition caused the athlete's career to end prematurely.
2. The degenerative disease gradually affected the patient's mobility and cognitive abilities.
3. Smoking is a major risk factor for degenerative lung disease.
4. The degenerative effects of alcohol abuse can have lasting impacts on the brain.
5. The degenerative arthritis in her knees made it difficult to walk.
6. The doctor recommended exercise to slow down the degenerative effects of the disease.

History and etymology of degenerative

The adjective 'degenerative' has its etymological roots in Latin. It is derived from the Latin word 'degenerare,' which is formed from 'de' (meaning 'down from' or 'away from') and 'generare' (meaning 'to generate' or 'to produce'). In its original Latin usage, 'degenerare' referred to the process of deviating from one's kind or type, suggesting a decline in quality or a departure from a higher state. As the word entered English, it retained this sense of gradual decline or deterioration in the quality or functioning of something over time. 'Degenerative' thus reflects its etymology by describing processes or conditions that involve a downward or away-from-the-norm change, often resulting in a decline in function or quality.

Quiz: Find the meaning of degenerative

Try Again!


Further usage examples of degenerative

1. The degenerative condition affected the patient's vision and hearing.
2. The degenerative disorder resulted in muscle weakness and atrophy.
3. A healthy diet and lifestyle can help slow down degenerative processes in the body.
4. The degenerative changes in the spine caused chronic pain and discomfort.
5. The degenerative nature of the disease meant that the patient's symptoms would worsen over time.
6. Degenerative diseases often result from aging and can affect various parts of the body.
7. Smoking is linked to degenerative lung conditions like emphysema.
8. Arthritis is a common degenerative joint disorder that causes pain and stiffness.
9. A sedentary lifestyle can lead to degenerative health issues like obesity and heart disease.
10. Pollution has degenerative effects on the environment, harming ecosystems.
11. Poor diet may contribute to degenerative health problems like diabetes.
12. Injuries can lead to degenerative changes in the spine, causing chronic pain.
13. Degenerative vision loss is a concern in older adults, affecting their quality of life.
14. Degenerative disc disease can cause back pain and mobility issues.
15. Some cancers are associated with degenerative cell changes, requiring aggressive treatment.
16. Stress can have a degenerative impact on mental health, leading to anxiety and depression.
17. Degenerative changes in technology necessitate regular updates and maintenance.
18. Unsustainable farming practices can result in degenerative soil quality and reduced yields.
19. Education and cognitive stimulation can counteract degenerative intellectual decline in old age.
20. Degenerative alterations in the climate, such as rising temperatures, have far-reaching global consequences.
21. Genetics may predispose individuals to degenerative conditions, making early detection vital.
22. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can slow down degenerative muscle loss in aging adults.
23. Early detection and intervention can help manage degenerative health issues effectively.
24. Degenerative changes in the environment, such as deforestation, affect biodiversity and ecosystems.
25. Degenerative joint disorders like osteoarthritis become more prevalent with age.



deteriorating, improving, regenerative, restorative


Problems and Conundrums, Damage and Destruction, Deterioration and Decline, Hardship and Suffering

bottom of page