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Degenerate   /dɪdʒˈɛnərət/  /dɪdʒˈɛnərˌeɪt/   Listen
Degenerate

adjective
1.
Unrestrained by convention or morality.  Synonyms: debauched, degraded, dissipated, dissolute, fast, libertine, profligate, riotous.  "Deplorably dissipated and degraded" , "Riotous living" , "Fast women"






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"Degenerate" Quotes from Famous Books



... Not merely the Anarchist, but every man of Anarchistic tendencies, all violent and disorderly people, all people of bad character, the incompetent, the lazy, the vicious, the physically unfit, defective, or degenerate should be kept out. The stocks out of which American citizenship is to be built should be strong and healthy, sound in body, mind, and character. If it be objected that the Government agents would not always select well, the answer is that they would certainly select better than do the ...
— Complete State of the Union Addresses from 1790 to the Present • Various

... Turnbull as a sobriquet conferred for some feat of strength and daring on a stalwart Borderer. We find the corresponding Tornebeuf in Old French, and Turnbuck also occurs. Trumbull and Trumble are variants due to metathesis followed by assimilation (Chapter III), while Tremble is a very degenerate form. In Knatchbull we have the obsolete verb knatch, which in Mid. English meant to strike on the head, fell. Crawcour is Fr. Crevecoeur, breakheart, which has also become a local name in France. With Shacklock, shake-lock, and Sherlock, ...
— The Romance of Names • Ernest Weekley

... slaves, turn'd tyrants, offer crowns to sale, And each fall'n nation's melancholy tale. Lo! where of late the Book of Martyrs stood, Old pious tracts, and Bibles bound in wood; There, such the taste of our degenerate age, Stand the profane delusions of the STAGE: Yet virtue owns the TRAGIC MUSE a friend, Fable her means, morality her end; For this she rules all passions in their turns, And now the bosom bleeds, and now it burns; Pity with weeping eye surveys her bowl, ...
— The Library • George Crabbe

... of these various degenerate and illiterate attempts at book-work we have only to watch the last expiring gleams of classic art beneath the ruthless footsteps of the barbarian invaders of the ...
— Illuminated Manuscripts • John W. Bradley

... holy the seventh day were only[82] a human institution, it would be the best method that could have been thought of for the polishing and civilising of mankind. It is certain the country people would soon degenerate into a kind of savages and barbarians, were there not such frequent returns of a stated time, in which the whole village meet together with their best faces, and in their cleanliest habits, to converse with one another upon indifferent ...
— The De Coverley Papers - From 'The Spectator' • Joseph Addison and Others

... the experiment would not have been left untried so long. In-and-in breeding is a mistake, and can only commend itself, and that for selfish reasons, to the Aztec in physique and the imbecile in mind. The families which take most pride in their purity are the most degenerate; the stock which is the most robust and handsome is that which has in it a liberal infusion of foreign bloods. In my opinion, the coming man, the highest form of well-balanced qualities—moral, intellectual, and masculine—the nearest ...
— Romantic Spain - A Record of Personal Experiences (Vol. II) • John Augustus O'Shea

... and several of his successors there is little of interest to record. The twenty-fifth emperor, Muretsu (A.D. 499), who was a son of the emperor Ninken, was chiefly notable for his cruelty. Some of the acts recorded of him can only be equalled by those of the degenerate occupants of the imperial throne of Rome in its worst days. He reigned eleven years and died without children. The twenty-sixth emperor was Keitai Tenno, who was the fifth descendant from Ojin Tenno. The only noticeable events ...
— Japan • David Murray

... of basing our psychology on reactions is that it keeps us "close to the ground", and prevents our discussions from sailing off into the clouds of picturesque but fanciful interpretation. Psychology is very apt to degenerate into a game of blowing bubbles, unless we pin ourselves down to hard-headed ways of thinking. The notion of a reaction is of great value here, just because it is so hard-headed and concrete. Whenever we have any human action before us for explanation, ...
— Psychology - A Study Of Mental Life • Robert S. Woodworth

... driven out by a wretched tribe, which certainly must likewise have belonged to the Aryan race, for upon the round terra-cottas I still very frequently find the tree of life, and the simple cross and double cross with the four nails. In these depths, however, the forms of the whorls degenerate. Of pottery, however, much less is found, and all of it is considerably less artistic than that which I have found in the preceding strata. With the people to whom these strata belonged—from 13 to 6-1/2 feet below the surface—the pre-Hellenic ages end, for henceforth we see many ruined walls ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol XI. • Edited by Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton

... admirers of Miss Becraft, gave her instruction, and extended to her most heartfelt aid and approbation in all her noble work, as they were in those days wont to do in behalf of the aspiring Colored girls who sought for education, withholding themselves from such work only when a depraved and degenerate public sentiment upon the subject of educating the Colored people had compelled them to a more rigid line of demarcation between the races. Ellen Simonds and others conducted the school a few years, but with the loss of its original teacher it began to fail, and finally ...
— History of the Negro Race in America from 1619 to 1880. Vol. 2 (of 2) - Negroes as Slaves, as Soldiers, and as Citizens • George Washington Williams

... co-religionists in that they abjured the strict garb and the "thee" and "thou" of those who followed George Fox to unfashionable lengths, whilst their children studied music and dancing. More zealous brethren called the Gurneys "worldly," and shook their heads over their degenerate conduct; but, all unseen, Mrs. Gurney was training up her family in ways of usefulness and true wisdom; while "the fear of the Lord," as the great principle of life and action, was constantly set before them. With ...
— Elizabeth Fry • Mrs. E. R. Pitman

... subjection have killed the pride which still lingers in the face and bearing of the poorest Arab; the Egyptian peasant does not wear the collar of Gurth, but he is a slave of the soil whose day of freedom is afar off. Yet these degenerate people are seen against a background of the most imposing ruins in the world. Luxor and Karnak and the tombs of the kings near old Thebes contain enough remains of the splendor of ancient Egyptian life to permit study for years. The mind is appalled ...
— The Critic in the Orient • George Hamlin Fitch

... said before. Howsoever, it may be perceived what manner of life there would be, where there were no common Power to feare; by the manner of life, which men that have formerly lived under a peacefull government, use to degenerate into, ...
— Leviathan • Thomas Hobbes

... Age," and "The Way to the Blessed Life"; "so robust an intellect, a soul so calm," says Carlyle, "so lofty, massive, and immovable, has not mingled in philosophic discussion since the time of Luther ... the cold, colossal, adamantine spirit, standing erect and clear, like a Cato Major among degenerate men; fit to have been the teacher of the Stoa, and to have discoursed of Beauty and Virtue in the groves ...
— The Nuttall Encyclopaedia - Being a Concise and Comprehensive Dictionary of General Knowledge • Edited by Rev. James Wood

... an attempt to appeal to my instinct for the preservation of my social self, I can face them without flinching. When that pompous old boy with the sandy mustache who has always looked upon me as a member of the degenerate Juke family tries to tell me that if I don't take the five-dollar cravat he won't be responsible for the way in which decent people will receive me when I go out on the street, I will reach across the counter and playfully pull his own necktie out from his waistcoat and scream, "I know you, ...
— Love Conquers All • Robert C. Benchley

... charity is often a snare to us. It calls us to certain occupations that dissipate the mind, and that may degenerate into mere amusement. It is for this reason that St. Chrysostom says that nothing is so important as to keep an exact proportion between the interior source of virtue and the external practise of it; else, like the foolish virgins, ...
— The World's Great Sermons, Vol. 2 (of 10) • Grenville Kleiser

... great burnished mirror, wrought about With cunning imagery of twisted vines. He scarcely knew those sunken, red-rimmed eyes, For his who in the flush of manhood rode Among the cliffs, and followed up the crags The flying temptress; and there fell on him A horror of her beauty, a disgust For his degenerate and corrupted life, With irresistible, intense desire, To feel the breath of heaven on his face. Then as Fate willed, who rules above the gods, He saw, within the glass, behind him glide The form of Venus. Certain of her power, She had laid ...
— The Poems of Emma Lazarus - Vol. I (of II.), Narrative, Lyric, and Dramatic • Emma Lazarus

... town to the wholesome, simple country, here is the sort of home you have. This passage is a cutting from the Daily News of Jan. 1, 1907; and its assertions have never been contradicted. It fills one with only the mildest enthusiasm for the return of our degenerate townsmen "back to the land." I came upon it as I read that morning's paper ...
— New Worlds For Old - A Plain Account of Modern Socialism • Herbert George Wells

... rough bark with a draw-knife, and to scarify them when bark-bound, brushing them over with the composition. It is also advised to plant quince trees at a proper distance from apple and pears, as bees and the wind may mix the farina, and occasion the apples and pears to degenerate. These trees may be raised from the kernels of the fruit sown in autumn; but there is no depending on having the same sort of good fruit from seedlings, nor will they soon become bearers. But the several varieties may be continued the same by cuttings and layers; also ...
— The Cook and Housekeeper's Complete and Universal Dictionary; Including a System of Modern Cookery, in all Its Various Branches, • Mary Eaton

... concerning Esau. He was a man intent upon immediate physical enjoyment; an idle drifter without spiritual ideals. From his character and that of the Edomites, his descendants, there is taught the lesson that such an unambitious man or nation will always become degenerate and prove a failure. God himself cannot make a man out ...
— The Bible Period by Period - A Manual for the Study of the Bible by Periods • Josiah Blake Tidwell

... others, as soon as they find a leader who is enterprising but is excluded from the honors of office by his poverty, institute the rule of violence; and now uniting their forces massacre, banish, and plunder, until they degenerate again into perfect savages and find once more a ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 1 (of 6) - The Ancient Regime • Hippolyte A. Taine

... breeding-stables—which is in France a branch of the civil service—opposed this innovation, and contended that the only pure type of horse was the primitive Arab, and that every departure from this resulted in the production of an animal more or less degenerate and debased. The reply of the Jockey Club was, that the English thoroughbred is, in fact, nothing else than a pure Arab, modified only by the influences of climate and treatment, and that it would be ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 26, September 1880 • Various

... other Yugoslav territories. Serbia, too, would now take her part, so that there is no need to fear for the position of a Yugoslav Rieka based solely—omitting Hungary and the Ukraine altogether—on her Yugoslav hinterland. Rieka without Yugoslavia would be ruined and would degenerate into a fishing village, with a great past and a miserable future. This could very well be seen during the spring of 1919 when the communications were interrupted between Rieka and Yugoslavia. At Rieka during April eggs were 80 centimes apiece, while at Bakar, a few ...
— The Birth of Yugoslavia, Volume 2 • Henry Baerlein

... Shelley, Keats and Salvator Rosa! The Palace of the Cassars looked even more mournful in the pale, slant sunshine, and the yellow Tiber, as he flowed through the "marble wilderness," seemed sullenly counting up the long centuries during which degenerate slaves have trodden his banks. A leaden-colored haze clothed the seven hills, and heavy silence reigned among the ruins, for all work was prohibited, and the people were gathered in their churches. Rome never appeared so desolate and melancholy ...
— Views a-foot • J. Bayard Taylor

... and exceptional care; and that with high feeding and artificial appliances comes vastly increased liability to disease, which may practically annihilate the race. But then the race, like the bursted boiler, could not be said to wear out, while if left to ordinary conditions, and allowed to degenerate back into a more natural if less useful state, its hold on life would evidently be ...
— Darwiniana - Essays and Reviews Pertaining to Darwinism • Asa Gray

... to command, to take up positions on that road, as if they had still armies at their beck. One of them made the observation to him with some degree of asperity, and was beginning an enumeration of his losses; but Napoleon, determined to reject all reports, lest they should degenerate into complaints, warmly interrupted him with these words: "why then do you wish to deprive me of my tranquillity?" and as the other was persisting, he shut his mouth at once, by repeating, in a reproachful manner, "I ask ...
— History of the Expedition to Russia - Undertaken by the Emperor Napoleon in the Year 1812 • Count Philip de Segur

... great nations. In world-politics, the others are negligible. Well, let us see. France, a nation of peacocks, excitable, impressionable, easily angered, making much of trifles, jealous of their dignity, a dying nation which grows smaller and weaker every year. England, also a degenerate nation, soaked in gin, where a hundred thousand men are unemployed, and where no better remedy for pauperism can be found than universal pensions, which only make more paupers. Russia, an ignorant nation, whose ruling class is composed of men without morals and without ideals—thieves ...
— The Destroyer - A Tale of International Intrigue • Burton Egbert Stevenson

... together, sometimes with the doctor or Mr Renshaw, and at others with our two English friends, from whom we gained a good deal of information. From all I heard, I should not at all like to live in Mexico. The descendants of the fierce conquerors have become a most degenerate race, without religion, without morality—each man ready to destroy his neighbour for the sake of getting into his place. That object seems to be the only end and aim of all their politics. As to patriotism, it does not exist. The nearest ...
— A Voyage round the World - A book for boys • W.H.G. Kingston

... late period (1500-1200 B.C.): degenerate polished red and painted white ware; wheel-made white ware with painted ornament in glazed black or brown, of the 'Late Minoan' or 'Mycenaean' style introduced from the Aegean; various hand-made wares of foreign styles, probably from Syria ...
— How to Observe in Archaeology • Various

... see how it is, Marian; these people must be descendants of the old Philistines, all degenerate ...
— The Dingo Boys - The Squatters of Wallaby Range • G. Manville Fenn

... changed in our degenerate days, and it is now possible for any one to find any other person with the simple key of street ...
— A Hundred Years by Post - A Jubilee Retrospect • J. Wilson Hyde

... till the meal was done To pledge a health? Degenerate son Of friendly sires! a health thrice-told Each guest had pledged to fellowships old,— Untarrying eager mouth to wipe, And across the board with hearty gripe Joining rough hands,—ere the meal was o'er:— Hearts ...
— The Baron's Yule Feast: A Christmas Rhyme • Thomas Cooper

... breathing air and with limbs for locomotion on the land. Most of the Carboniferous amphibians were shaped like the salamander, with weak limbs adapted more for crawling than for carrying the body well above the ground. Some legless, degenerate forms were ...
— The Elements of Geology • William Harmon Norton

... to this celestial King, most Holy Father, that this Lady, His spouse, sends her children whom you see here, who are not of a lower condition than those who came long before them. They do not degenerate; they have the comeliness both of their Father and their mother, since they make profession of the most perfect poverty. There is, therefore, no fear of their dying of poverty, being the children and heirs of the Immortal ...
— The Life and Legends of Saint Francis of Assisi • Father Candide Chalippe

... services, to bestow on him five hundred English pounds, making my just excuse, I had it not before within my power to reward him. [Lays down the paper.] And was it then for this I sought his life? Oh base, degenerate Spaniard! Hadst thou done it, thou hadst been worse than damned: Heaven took more care of me, than I of him, to expose this paper to my timely view. Sleep on, thou honourable Englishman; I'll sooner ...
— The Works of John Dryden, Volume 5 (of 18) - Amboyna; The state of Innocence; Aureng-Zebe; All for Love • John Dryden

... as thus related by descent or cognation, do not always agree in sense; for it is incident to words, as to their authours, to degenerate from their ancestors, and to change their manners when they change their country. It is sufficient, in etymological enquiries, if the senses of kindred words be found such as may easily pass into each other, or such as may both be referred to one ...
— Preface to a Dictionary of the English Language • Samuel Johnson

... greatness is, that it is for the most part in pitiful want and distress. What a wonderful thing is this, unless it degenerate into avarice, and so cease to be greatness. It falls perpetually into such necessities as drive it into all the meanest and most sordid ways of borrowing, cozenage, and robbery, Mancipiis locopules, eget ...
— Cowley's Essays • Abraham Cowley

... degenerate days! The camp has lost its glory. Betting has been two to one that Colonel Joe Woods riddles the Judge before ...
— The Little Lady of Lagunitas • Richard Henry Savage

... of velvet collars, in which the town followed the lead of the younger man. My uncle, who was not born to be second to any one, retired instantly to St. Albans, and announced that he would make it the centre of fashion and of society, instead of degenerate London. It chanced, however, that the mayor and corporation waited upon him with an address of thanks for his good intentions towards the town, and that the burgesses, having ordered new coats from London for the occasion, were all ...
— Rodney Stone • Arthur Conan Doyle

... fellows had not the bare necessaries of life, and it was only by great exertion that I was able to procure them, as I have described, for myself and a few of my more intimate friends. I had not supposed that so degenerate a race of Frenchmen existed, for when they saw us all rapidly sickening and advancing towards the grave, instead of relaxing their system of tyranny, they only increased their ill-treatment, and made us believe that they really ...
— Hurricane Hurry • W.H.G. Kingston

... sixpenny cigars, and brandy and water in buckets. It is, of course, good policy to keep a company of buyers in good humour, but I think it has long since been recognized that hospitality was carried a little too far in those times of prosperity, and, in these degenerate if more business-like days, extravagance is much less evident, though there is a hearty welcome and abundance ...
— Grain and Chaff from an English Manor • Arthur H. Savory

... somewhat cracked within the ring. To be sure, in those days every gentleman took his pipe with him; and the fragrant clouds would be some consolation in the eyes, or rather in the noses, of some of us. But still,—almost six hours of tragedy! It is too much of a good thing for these degenerate days; and we must allow the prompter to use his pencil on the actors' copy of "Hamlet," though he strike out page ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 10, Number 59, September, 1862 • Various

... traditions for every political or religions custom or institution; uninformed by science; unimproved by education; in short, a fit soil from whence a careful observer could collect facts for forming a judgment, how far unassisted human nature will be apt to degenerate, and in what respects it can ever be able to excel. Who could have thought, that the brutal ferocity of feeding upon human flesh, and the horrid superstition of offering human sacrifices, should be found to exist amongst the natives lately discovered in the Pacific Ocean, ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. 15 (of 18) • Robert Kerr

... gratitude, love and veneration. Sweet is the remembrance of the virtuous, and happy are the descendants of such a father! they will think on him and emulate his virtues—they will remember him, and be ashamed to degenerate from ...
— The Old English Baron • Clara Reeve

... are commonly of a palish blue, or rather of a colour somewhat approaching to livid, and are surrounded by an erysipelatous inflammation. These pustules, unless a timely remedy be applied, frequently degenerate into phagedenic ulcers, which prove extremely troublesome[2]. The animals become indisposed, and the secretion of milk is much lessened. Inflamed spots now begin to appear on different parts of the hands of ...
— An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolae Vaccinae • Edward Jenner

... can be pleaded in favor of their conduct. Upon that case I stand; we are at issue; and I desire to go to trial. This, I am sure, is not loose railing, or mean insinuation, according to their low and degenerate fashion, when they make attacks on the measures of their adversaries. It is a regular and juridical course; and unless I choose it, nothing can compel ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. III. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... hair and beard were somewhat long, and had a way of twisting themselves as though blown by the wind. When the light of the summer morning shone through the panes of clean glass upon this family at breakfast, it was obvious that the son was physically somewhat degenerate. Athletics had not then come into fashion; Caius was less in stature than might have been expected from such parents; and now, after his years of town life, he had an appearance of being limp in sinew, nor was there the same strong will and alert ...
— The Mermaid - A Love Tale • Lily Dougall

... is surrounded by the tribe of the same name, as well as by the Skynses and the Nez Perces; who bring to it the furs and peltries collected in their hunting expeditions. The Wallah-Wallahs are a degenerate, worn-out tribe. The Nez Perces are the most numerous and tractable of the three tribes just mentioned. Mr. Pambrune informed Captain Bonneville that he had been at some pains to introduce the Christian religion, in the Roman Catholic form, among them, where it had ...
— The Adventures of Captain Bonneville - Digested From His Journal • Washington Irving

... 18 inches to 2 feet in diameter, and makes a donkey load. The gigantic cauliflower is not distinct from our European species, but is solely produced by a cultivation which necessity has dictated. Being one of the Northern vegetables that degenerate or bear no seed if not annually procured from Europe, it is propagated by cuttings. After the heads are gathered the stubs are allowed to throw out new shoots, which are again planted and have to grow two years, producing the second, the ...
— The Cauliflower • A. A. Crozier

... weekly tenants. The cottages let by the week look shabby, slovenly, dingy; the hedges of the gardens are neglected, broken down, stopped up with anything that comes to hand. If it were not for the fruitful and well-tended vegetable plots, one might often suppose the tenants to be ignorant of order, degenerate, brutalized, materialized, so sordid and ugly are ...
— Change in the Village • (AKA George Bourne) George Sturt

... faith, and desire, will subside into a condition of spiritual tedium, unnoticing routine; or else, the imaginative element dying out, while the sexual element retains or perhaps even exaggerates its force, love will degenerate into lust. These three results depict the real union subsisting between three classes of husbands and wives, when the hymeneal glow has passed, and fixed realities assert their sway. The first is a hideous association of enemies, a yoked animosity; the second, a lukewarm connection of colleagues, ...
— The Friendships of Women • William Rounseville Alger

... Christian converts to be anarchists in religious matters. There is evidence, in the First Epistle to the Corinthians, that his spiritual presentation of Christianity had already been made an excuse for disorderly licence. The usual symptoms of degenerate Mysticism had appeared at Corinth. There were men there who called themselves "spiritual persons[105]" or prophets, and showed an arrogant independence; there were others who wished to start sects of their own; others who carried antinomianism into the sphere of morals; others who prided ...
— Christian Mysticism • William Ralph Inge

... they watched the starry flocks hurtling about them. The birds wheeled around, fled away, and again returned. There were winged serpents; might which would put to flight the degenerate eagle; plumage before which the birds of paradise would show dull as clay. These wings dipt in the dawn flashed ceaselessly. Ah, what plumage of white fire rayed out with pinions of opalescent glory! What feathered sprays of burning amethyst! What crests of scarlet and gold, ...
— AE in the Irish Theosophist • George William Russell

... is the natural tendency, as all experience shows, that any college independent of all inspection, control, or competition in wealth—all its officers securely paid by the state, independent of exertion or success—will in a short time, as a general rule, degenerate into inactivity, indifference, and extravagance. In collegiate institutions, as well as in the higher and elementary schools, and in other public and private affairs of life, competition is an important ...
— The Story of My Life - Being Reminiscences of Sixty Years' Public Service in Canada • Egerton Ryerson

... seperate from the Minds of the People the Idea of unfortunate from that of the Want of some necessary soldierly Quality. At best the unfortunate General has Pity only as the Reward of his Services; and how soon does Pity degenerate into Contempt. Cicero if I mistake not some where tells us, that when a General is fortunate it matters not whether it is ascribd to his being a Favorite of the Immortal Gods, or to certain good Qualities in him which others are incapable of ...
— The Original Writings of Samuel Adams, Volume 4 • Samuel Adams

... disobeyed his orders and to the rascally contractor who supplied his army with inferior stores. Yet he habitually kept his temper under control. Steadfast in purpose, he was never overwhelmed by misfortune and never yielded to factious opposition. And strong as his will was, it did not degenerate into obstinacy; he would gladly listen to the advice of others, and in military matters was sometimes too ready to act upon it. At first he made mistakes in generalship, but his military skill grew with his ...
— The Political History of England - Vol. X. • William Hunt

... manner, he observed that one of his grandsons, for his better accommodation, had rolled a large snow-ball, and placed it below his head. The wrath of the ancient chief was awakened by a symptom of what he conceived to be degenerate luxury. 'Out upon thee,' said he, kicking the frozen bolster from the head which it supported, 'art thou so effeminate as to need a pillow?' The officer of engineers, whose curious Letters from the Highlands have ...
— The Lady of the Lake • Sir Walter Scott

... questions. In his Lives of the Novelists he shows that he thought manners and morals had improved in the previous hundred years; and none of his reviews exhibits the feeling so common among men of letters in all ages, that their own times are intellectually degenerate. It is true that he looked back to the days of Blair, Hume, Adam Smith, Robertson, and Ferguson, as the "golden days of Edinburgh,"[27] but those golden days were no farther away than his own boyhood, and he had felt the exhilaration ...
— Sir Walter Scott as a Critic of Literature • Margaret Ball

... a country may degenerate! The Grecian people, at one time the first in the world, are now the furthest behind! I was told by everyone that in Greece it was neither safe to trust myself with a guide nor to wander about alone, as I had done in other countries; indeed, I was warned here ...
— A Woman's Journey Round the World • Ida Pfeiffer

... plain frieze of simplicity, thou mayest finely couch the wrought velvet of knavery;" and in his Father Hubburd's Tales, we find "like an old cunning bowler to fetch in a young ketling gamester:" see Middleton's Works, v. 543, 589, ed. Dyce. Keistrels are hawks of a worthless and degenerate breed. ...
— Kemps Nine Daies Wonder - Performed in a Daunce from London to Norwich • William Kemp

... tree from which he was extracted? These are the disagreeable, prying, inquisitorial, I may even say insulting, questions with which a modern man of science is ready to assail the truthful and reputable gentlemen who venture to assert their discovery, in these degenerate days, of the ...
— Falling in Love - With Other Essays on More Exact Branches of Science • Grant Allen

... La Vendee, about 800,000, were well-to-do, and had suffered less from degenerate feudalism than the east of France. They lived on better terms with the landlords, and had less cause to welcome the Revolution. Therefore, too, they clung to the nonjuring clergy. At heart, they were royalist, aristocratic and clerical, uniting anti-revolutionary motives that acted separately ...
— Lectures on the French Revolution • John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton

... that I endeavored to avoid their company, and from that time have never seen them. The vilest inclinations, the basest actions, succeeded my amiable amusements and even obliterated the very remembrance of them. I must have had, in spite of my good education, a great propensity to degenerate, else the declension could not have followed with such ease and rapidity, for never did so promising a Caesar ...
— The Confessions of J. J. Rousseau, Complete • Jean Jacques Rousseau

... was sufficient to make a degenerate of a Mohammedan; and to devour the flesh of cows converted a Hindoo ...
— The Flaw in the Sapphire • Charles M. Snyder

... deeds abstain, From lawless riots and from pleasure's vain; If not regarding of thy own degree, Yet in behalf of thy posterity. For we are docible to imitate. Depraved pleasures though degenerate. Be careful therefore least thy son admit By ear or eye things ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 14, - Issue 404, December 12, 1829 • Various

... child will grow out of her little heretic prejudices, and learn to love her mother's staunch friends, the champions of Holy Church, and the representatives of true knighthood in these degenerate days. Ah, child! couldst thou but see a true Spanish caballero, or again, could I but show thee my noble cousin of Guise, then wouldst thou know how to rate these gross clownish English mastiffs who now turn thy silly little ...
— Unknown to History - A Story of the Captivity of Mary of Scotland • Charlotte M. Yonge

... and is one of the most powerful ingredients in the Circean potion which transforms many of the most promising young men into the beastly forms which, in sluggish idleness, feed upon the labors of others. The degenerate sentiment, I hope, will never obtain admission in my mind; and, if my mind should be loitered away in stupid laziness, it will be under the full conviction of my conscience that I am basely bartering the greatest benefits with which human beings ...
— Life and Public Services of John Quincy Adams - Sixth President of the Unied States • William H. Seward

... Sir,—Degenerate as human nature is said to be—and in many instances worthless and unprincipled it is—still there are bright examples to the contrary: examples that, even in the eyes of superior beings, must shed a lustre ...
— The Letters of Robert Burns • Robert Burns

... in the disguise of truth: justice, unbiassed either by favour or interest, which now so fatally pervert it, was equally and impartially dispensed; nor was the judge's fancy law, for then there were neither judges nor causes to be judged. The modest maid might then walk alone. But, in this degenerate age, fraud and a legion of ills infecting the world, no virtue can be safe, no honour be secure; while wanton desires, diffused into the hearts of men, corrupt the strictest watches and the closest retreats, which, though as intricate, and unknown as the ...
— Venetia • Benjamin Disraeli

... to have the representations of the historical facts related in the Bible, in order that those believers who were unable to read might in this way instruct themselves in sacred history, but that great care must be taken that such a practice might not degenerate into idolatry. ...
— Roman Catholicism in Spain • Anonymous

... Germany that the French nation was degenerate and corrupt and unprepared for war. This belief became conviction when, in the debates of the French Senate, Senator Humbert, early in 1914, publicly exposed what he claimed to be the weakness and unpreparedness ...
— My Four Years in Germany • James W. Gerard

... common complaint in these degenerate days that we live harder than our fathers did. Whatever we do we rush at. We bolt our food, and run for the train; we jump out of it before it has stopped, and reach the school door just as the bell rings; we "cram" for our examinations, and "spurt" for our ...
— Parkhurst Boys - And Other Stories of School Life • Talbot Baines Reed

... to the wall. We must be like wolves to make anything we can save for a rainy day. But any girl or man who'll consent to act the spy on others—there's a way to earn money, lots of it. A few are tempted. They must degenerate more and more, I think! And there are other things that drive some of us—the women, I mean—to desperation. But I can't tell you about them. You must find out ...
— Winnie Childs - The Shop Girl • C. N. Williamson

... breeding had returned upon him; something instinctive and inherited had reappeared; and the gentlemanly, easy-going father, who yet, as Doris remembered, when matters were serious "always got his way," was there—strangely there—in the degenerate son. ...
— A Great Success • Mrs Humphry Ward

... occupations, and too little to the acquisition of the corporeal powers indispensable to make the former practically useful. If the present system does not undergo some change, I much apprehend we shall see a degenerate and sinking race, such as came to exist among the higher classes in France before the Revolution, and such as now deforms a large part of the noblest families in Spain;[5] but if the spirit of improvement, so happily awakened, continues—as ...
— Popular Education - For the use of Parents and Teachers, and for Young Persons of Both Sexes • Ira Mayhew

... good-humoured Christmas Chapter, containing an Account of a Wedding, and some other Sports beside: which although in their Way even as good Customs as Marriage itself, are not quite so religiously kept up, in these degenerate Times ...
— The Pickwick Papers • Charles Dickens

... Aphis, plant louse, puceron^; vinefretter^, vinegrub^. wreck, mere wreck, honeycomb, magni nominis umbra [Lat.]; jade, plug, rackabones [U.S.], skate [U.S.]; tackey^, tacky [U.S.]. V. be worse, be deteriorated, become worse, become deteriorated &c Adj.; have seen better days, deteriorate, degenerate, fall off; wane &c (decrease) 36; ebb; retrograde &c 283, decline, droop; go down &c (sink) 306; go downhill, go from bad to worse, go farther and fare worse; jump out of the frying pan into the fire. run to seed, go to seed, run to waste swale^, sweal^; lapse, ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... be; but a careful Admonition is of that Moment, that Paul accounts it imputable to Mothers, if the Children degenerate from Piety. But in the last Place, if you do what is in your Power, God will add his ...
— Colloquies of Erasmus, Volume I. • Erasmus

... in Edwin's earldom, or at least in that of his brother Morcar. And even the local leaders were not over-well obeyed. The reckless spirit of personal independence, especially among the Anglo-Danes, prevented anything like discipline, or organized movement of masses, and made every battle degenerate into ...
— Hereward, The Last of the English • Charles Kingsley

... literal versions, are full of eloquence and pathos. The "great law" has become old, and has lost its force. Its authors have passed away, and have carried it with them into their graves. They have placed it as a pillow under their heads. Their degenerate successors have inherited their names, but not their mighty intellects; and in the flourishing region which they left, naught but a desert remains. A trace, and not a slight one, of the mournful sublimity ...
— The Iroquois Book of Rites • Horatio Hale

... glorious as the rainbow. We have engraven it there, on the blue table of the cold vault, in letters tall enough for the reading of the nations. And why has the far South not read and believed before this? Because a steam has gone up—a fog—from New England's pulpit and her degenerate press, and hidden the beaming revelation from its vision. The Northern hierarchy and ...
— The Complete Works of Whittier - The Standard Library Edition with a linked Index • John Greenleaf Whittier

... necessary to the understanding of the New Testament, it is to the poet matter of regret that "loveless learning" should leave its proper work, and make such havoc in that which belongs not to it. But while he sits "talking with his mind," his mood begins to degenerate from sympathy with that which is good to indifference towards all forms, and he feels inclined to rest quietly in the enjoyment of his own religious confidence, and trouble himself in no wise about the faith of his neighbours; for doubtless all are partakers of the central light, though ...
— A Dish Of Orts • George MacDonald

... conception of love refines this sentiment and purifies it to such an extent that it loses all its pettiness, and it is pettiness which so often causes it to degenerate, even in its most loyal forms. The social work in common of a man and woman united by true affection, full of tenderness and devotion for one another, mutually encouraging each other to perseverance and to action, will easily triumph ...
— The Sexual Question - A Scientific, psychological, hygienic and sociological study • August Forel

... time they lose! ... There are dozens of men I know who are far less presentable than this highly coloured and robust young human being; and yet they are part of the accomplished scheme of things—like degenerate horses, you know—always pathetic to me; but they're still horses, for all that. Quid rides? Species of the same genus can cross, of course, but I had rather be a donkey than a mule. ... And if I were a donkey I'd sing and cavort with my own kind, and let horses ...
— The Fighting Chance • Robert W. Chambers

... that at least certain aspects of Biblical style were of universal appeal; that they might be as effective psychologically for the modern Englishman as for the ancient Jew. And he sees in this collection of ancient Oriental literature a corrective for some of the worst tendencies of a degenerate contemporary poetry. ...
— 'Of Genius', in The Occasional Paper, and Preface to The Creation • Aaron Hill

... want to—the sooner the better;" and, with this parting adjuration, and an extra shake, the old mountain man, who had drank barrels of alcohol himself with comparative immunity from harm, turned his back upon this younger degenerate victim of modern whisky, and strode out of the room and the house, without stopping to reply to the renewed entreaties of his friends to remain and "make ...
— The New Penelope and Other Stories and Poems • Frances Fuller Victor

... glass works, her aniline dyes, her toys, and her production of a thousand and one articles (like lamps) of household use, she was showing a splendid record—better in some ways than England. For while England was losing ground, Germany was gaining all the time. England was becoming degenerate and lacking in enterprise. The Zeiss glassworks at Jena have now become the centre of the optical-glass industry of the world. Carl Zeiss, the founder, tried hard at one time to get the English glass-makers to ...
— The Healing of Nations and the Hidden Sources of Their Strife • Edward Carpenter

... not through its fault, But his who fills it basely, he besought, No dispensation for commuted wrong, Nor the first vacant fortune, nor the tenth), That to God's paupers rightly appertain, But, 'gainst an erring and degenerate world, Licence to fight, in favour of that seed, From which the twice twelve cions gird thee round. Then, with sage doctrine and good will to help, Forth on his great apostleship he far'd, Like torrent bursting from a lofty ...
— The Divine Comedy, Complete - The Vision of Paradise, Purgatory and Hell • Dante Alighieri

... she was nervous and self-reproachful, yet the singing and the uproar gave her a certain pleasure. There was nothing in the talk around her and the songs that were sung that made it a shame for her to be present. Plebeian good-humour does not often degenerate into brutality at meetings of this kind until a late hour of the evening. The girls who sat with glasses of beer before them, and carried on primitive flirtations with their neighbours, were honest wage-earners ...
— Thyrza • George Gissing

... apathy under tribute to a foreign church, the heavenly song still murmured in a few true hearts amidst the vain and vicious lays of carnal mirth. It survived even when people and priest alike seemed utterly degenerate and godless. The voice of Walter Bute (1372) rang true for the religion of Jesus in its purity. Brave John Oldcastle, the martyr, (1417) clung to the gospel he learned at the foot of the cross. William Wroth, clergyman, saved from fiddling at a drunken ...
— The Story of the Hymns and Tunes • Theron Brown and Hezekiah Butterworth

... strain when her naively insolent drawl would jar on the nerves, like the talk of a spoiled child too intent on holding the attention of a visitor averse to precocity. And her disdain of the practical would degenerate into untidiness, and her clinging-ivyness, if it clung too much, would probably remind a man in his reactionary moments of ennui that there are subtler pursuits than being a wall, even though it's ...
— The Prairie Mother • Arthur Stringer

... like Jo, and in a very few years they will so degenerate that they will lose even their bark—but not ...
— Bleak House • Charles Dickens

... have briefly designated. One of his rooms was directly above the street-door of the house; such a dormitory, when it is so exiguous, is called in the nomenclature of New York a "hall bedroom." The sitting-room, beside it, was slightly larger, and they both commanded a row of tenements no less degenerate than Ransom's own habitation—houses built forty years before, and already sere and superannuated. These were also painted red, and the bricks were accentuated by a white line; they were garnished, on the first floor, with balconies covered with ...
— The Bostonians, Vol. I (of II) • Henry James

... assertions of the moral elevation and loveliness of Germany; of the insuperable excellences of German Kultur, the Kaiser, and Crown Prince, and so forth; abuse of the "treacherous" English who allied themselves with the "degenerate" French and the "barbaric" Russians; nonsense about "the freedom of the seas"—the emptiest phrase in history—childish attempts to sow suspicion between the Allies, and still more childish attempts to induce neutrals and simple-minded pacifists of allied nationality to save the face ...
— War and the Future • H. G. Wells

... she had never seen such a man. He had, or seemed to have, all the high-bred grace of Frank, and yet he was cast in a manlier mould; he had just enough of his nation's proud self-assertion to make a woman bow before him as before a superior, and yet tact enough to let it very seldom degenerate into that boastfulness of which the Spaniards were then so often and so justly accused. He had marvels to tell by flood and field as many and more than Amyas; and he told them with a grace and an eloquence of which modest, simple, old Amyas possessed nothing. ...
— Westward Ho! • Charles Kingsley

... the outside, in the light of prejudice and misrepresentation, believe the calling of the actor to be one morally dangerous and intellectually contemptible; one in which it is equally easy to succeed as an artist and degenerate as an individual. She begins by telling me that she has a "fancy for the stage," and has "heard a great many things about it." Now, for any man or woman to become an actor or actress because they have a "fancy for ...
— [19th Century Actor] Autobiographies • George Iles

... forth her hand against devoted Germany, and chastened her rulers and her people for the sins and transgressions of many generations. Like those wild sons of the desert, whom in the seventh century, heaven let loose to punish the degenerate Christians of the East, the new Islamite hordes of revolutionary France were permitted by Divine Providence to spread through Germany, as through almost every country in Europe, terror ...
— History of Rationalism Embracing a Survey of the Present State of Protestant Theology • John F. Hurst

... farm for agricultural training. He started it because they needed bricks with which to build buildings in which to live, just as he started the farm to raise food upon which to live. He saw to it, however, that the brickyard was used as an instrument of education and was never allowed to degenerate into a mere brickyard and nothing more, just as he saw to it that the farm was used as a means of education and was not allowed to degenerate into a mere farm and nothing more. It was even more difficult to persuade the students that ...
— Booker T. Washington - Builder of a Civilization • Emmett J. Scott and Lyman Beecher Stowe

... Signor Podesta," said the lieutenant, briskly; "they are all you think them; and any one can see that at a glance. Degenerate Englishmen, we ...
— The Wing-and-Wing - Le Feu-Follet • J. Fenimore Cooper

... you will only act, we will stand by you; it would be unnatural for us to change, and never should we meet with such a congenial ally. For these reasons choose the right course, and endeavour not to let Peloponnese under your supremacy degenerate from the prestige that it enjoyed ...
— The History of the Peloponnesian War • Thucydides

... measure of seed pearl. I was of opinion, at the time—and am so still— that we might have obtained considerably more than we did of the last, but for the eagerness with which we prosecuted our search for the larger gems, which caused our search for the smaller seed pearls to degenerate into a ...
— Overdue - The Story of a Missing Ship • Harry Collingwood

... want "Americanism" to degenerate into a mere "protective coloration" for politicians who want to hide their reaction and ...
— Catholic Problems in Western Canada • George Thomas Daly

... our little hour of strut and rave, With all our pasteboard passions and desires, Loves, hates, ambitions, and immortal fires, Are tossed pell-mell together in the grave. But stay! no age was e'er degenerate, Unless men held it at too cheap a rate, For in our likeness still we shape our fate. 90 Ah, there is something here Unfathomed by the cynic's sneer, Something that gives our feeble light A high immunity from Night, Something that leaps life's narrow bars To claim its birthright ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of James Russell Lowell • James Lowell

... an opportunity of braving insult for the sake of a preacher to whom they were attached on personal as well as doctrinal grounds. Miss Pratt spoke of Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer, and observed that the present crisis afforded an occasion for emulating their heroism even in these degenerate times; while less highly instructed persons, whose memories were not well stored with precedents, simply expressed their determination, as Mr. Jerome had done, to 'stan' by' the preacher and his cause, believing it to be the ...
— Scenes of Clerical Life • George Eliot

... shall prevail upon wit and sense. And, to speak the truth, I do very much apprehend, by some of the last winter's productions, which had their sets of admirers, that our posterity will in a few years degenerate into a race of punsters: at least, a man may be very excusable for any apprehensions of this kind, that has seen acrostics handed about the town with great secresy and applause; to which I must also add a little epigram called the "Witches' Prayer," ...
— Essays and Tales • Joseph Addison

... would fight with a cannon if necessary, and he will. Aramis is degenerate. He observed that it would require consideration. Then the count said: 'The captain's ideas are certainly somewhat original, and why not leave it to M. Greville and me and such ...
— A Diplomatic Adventure • S. Weir Mitchell

... in the second dog-watch, the boys, I found, were allowed to skylark about the upper deck and aloft, playing 'follow my leader' up and down the rigging, without any interference or interruption from the officers and instructors, save when it seemed to them the larking might degenerate into horseplay. ...
— Young Tom Bowling - The Boys of the British Navy • J.C. Hutcheson

... Degenerate Douglass! thou unworthy Lord Whom mere despite of heart could so far please, And love of havoc (for with such disease Fame taxes him) that he could send forth word To level with the dust a noble horde, A brotherhood ...
— Recollections of a Tour Made in Scotland A.D. 1803 • Dorothy Wordsworth

... minutes of heated altercation with Mr. McGinnis, whom he threatened with expulsion from the meeting, the mayor finally left the chair and the meeting broke up in disorder which threatened to degenerate into ...
— To Him That Hath - A Novel Of The West Of Today • Ralph Connor

... Jupiter has dominion in the heavens: Augustus shall be esteemed a present deity the Britons and terrible Parthians being added to the empire. What! has any soldier of Crassus lived, a degraded husband with a barbarian wife? And has (O [corrupted] senate, and degenerate morals!) the Marsian and Apulian, unmindful of the sacred bucklers, of the [Roman] name and gown, and of eternal Vesta, grown old in the lands of hostile fathers-in-law, Jupiter and the city being in safety? The prudent mind of Regulus had provided against this, dissenting from ignominious terms, ...
— The Works of Horace • Horace

... world seems to have gone wild—Oscar Wilde! How the Oscars have thriven there since the first of them went to jail!—a degenerate dynasty!—hiding the stench of spiritual rot with the perfume of faultless rhetoric, speaking the unspeakable with the tongues of angels and of prophets! And mostly, my boy, they have thriven on the dollars of American women under the leadership of ...
— 'Charge It' - Keeping Up With Harry • Irving Bacheller

... Drinking is a vice, the disposition to which grows with its gratification; most other avocations (for drinking in moderation is only such) have no tendency of the sort. Those enjoyments which have a tendency to degenerate into vice should be kept under some check; those which have no such tendency ought to be encouraged; for, where the main and general mass of the population of a country is corrupted, it is impossible to prevent its decline. If it remains uncorrupted, ...
— An Inquiry into the Permanent Causes of the Decline and Fall of Powerful and Wealthy Nations. • William Playfair

... upper table; ale, medd, (mead,) and spirits for the other; and after all came the friendly contest at some manly game—wrestling, racing, pitching the bar, or the like. At a period somewhat later, these boisterous pastimes began to degenerate; and the Welsh squire became more polished, but not, perhaps, more happy. Still the custom of inordinate potation fondly clung to him. Immediately contiguous to every mansion of any magnitude was erected a summerhouse, usually situated in a spot, selected for the ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction. - Volume 10, No. 271, Saturday, September 1, 1827. • Various

... must not, from the faithful narrator, degenerate into the partial eulogist. Well, full well, do I know that Dr. John was not perfect, anymore than I am perfect. Human fallibility leavened him throughout: there was no hour, and scarcely a moment of the time I spent with him that in act or speech, or look, he ...
— Villette • Charlotte Bronte

... of TARENTUM marks an important era in Roman history. Large treasures were obtained from this and other Greek cities in Southern Italy. Luxury became more fashionable; morals began to degenerate. Greed for wealth obtained by plunder began to get possession of the Romans. From now on the moral tone of the people continued to degenerate in proportion ...
— History of Rome from the Earliest times down to 476 AD • Robert F. Pennell

... of inviting you urgently and cordially to Kessin, which, you may know, has fifteen hundred summer guests every year, and ships with all kinds of flags, and even a hotel among the dunes. But if I show so little hospitality it is not because I am inhospitable. I am not so degenerate as that. It is simply because our residence, with all its handsome and unusual features, is in reality not a suitable house at all; it is only a lodging for two people, and hardly that, for we haven't even a dining room, which, as you can well imagine, ...
— The German Classics Of The Nineteenth And Twentieth Centuries, Volume 12 • Various

... of the depths of doubt, despair, and incredulity in which the boy was groveling; he who so clung to life—the life which the angel had made so fair—who so loved it, that he would have stooped to baseness merely to live; he, the pleasure-loving scapegrace, the degenerate d'Esgrignon, had even taken out his pistols, had gone so far as to think of suicide. He who would never have brooked the appearance of an insult was abusing himself in language which no man is likely to hear ...
— The Collection of Antiquities • Honore de Balzac

... the largest gains in country life and will not only raise the standards of living, but will be a potent incentive for better agricultural methods. There can be no progress without a certain amount of dissatisfaction. Contentedness has its virtues, but it may degenerate into inertia and the death of all desire for ...
— The Farmer and His Community • Dwight Sanderson

... in life. It leads to hasty, ill-assorted matches, to an unwillingness to yield to each other's peculiarities, to a weakening of the family ties, to a lax morality. Carry it a trifle farther than it now is in some of the Western States, and marriage will lose all its sacredness, and degenerate into a physical union, not nobler than the crossing ...
— The Physical Life of Woman: - Advice to the Maiden, Wife and Mother • Dr. George H Napheys

... tendency to similar morbid changes in other parts, and no infiltration elsewhere. There is little or no edema with ainhum. In ainhum there is, first, simple hypertrophy, then active hyperplasia The papillae degenerate when deprived of blood supply, and become horny. Meanwhile the pressure thus exerted on the nervi vasorum sets up vascular changes which bring about epithelial changes in more distant areas, the process advancing anteriorly, that is, in the direction ...
— Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine • George M. Gould

... and causes him to degenerate physically and morally. [1] Strong drink is unquestionably an evil, and evil cannot be used temperately: its slightest use is abuse; hence the only temperance is total abstinence. Drunkenness is sensuality let loose, in whatever form it is ...
— Miscellaneous Writings, 1883-1896 • Mary Baker Eddy

... his delay, would further weaken him and enslave him to his melancholy still more. Thus the speculative habit would be one indirect cause of the morbid state which hindered action; and it would also reappear in a degenerate form as one of the symptoms of this ...
— Shakespearean Tragedy - Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth • A. C. Bradley

... more than once, that Gordon's military career reminds one of the great soldier Cromwell, who did so much to rescue England from the degenerate condition into which it had fallen under the miserable rule of the Stuarts. In the same way the six years spent by Gordon at Gravesend, very forcibly remind us of the great religious philanthropist, Lord Shaftesbury, who did perhaps more than any other man of this nineteenth century, or any ...
— General Gordon - A Christian Hero • Seton Churchill



Words linked to "Degenerate" :   pedophile, reprobate, degraded, miscreant, devolve, fast, sodomist, waste, dissipated, rot, weary, decline, nympho, languish, sodomite, sod, jade, profligate, paedophile, deviate, worsen, masochist, deviant, riotous, bugger, tire, nymphomaniac, degeneration, satyr, pall, degenerative, lech, fetishist, child molester, sadomasochist, lecher, immoral, recuperate, fade, debauched, letch, fatigue, dissolute, drop, pederast, paederast, libertine, sadist, pervert



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