Degenerate is used to indicate a change of state ( physical or mental) which has generally worsened from its previous one. Could this term be used just to indicate a change that does not necessarily imply a negative change from the preceding one. A degenerate tradition or custom are an instance of deterioration of tradition or custom or can they just be a change from a previous state?

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Math and CS terminology has uses of 'degenerate' meaning something like "extremely limited" but not neccessarily worse/negative/denigrating.

For example, Degenerate Distribution or Degenerate Dimension.


No in math and in physics, degenerate means a potential plurality or flexibility (and therefore complexity). Sometimes we can split or reduce this plurality via a trick. Quickly, A degenerate eigenvalue is number of which the eigenspace has dimension more than one. It means to each eigenvalue corresponds several different eigenvectors.

A level of energy for an atom is degenerate when you have several state of the system corresponding to this level. With a magnetic field, we can discriminate these states.

Well there exists a page on wikipedia actually :D.

Beyond that, degenerate means to lose your genus, your race. Clearly it cannot be good :D.


Degenerate is used in molecular biology to describe oligonucleotide sequence variants that have alternative bases at one or more positions ATGCG ATGGG

are a degenerate pair that differ at their fourth position. Because of the way oligonucleotides are synthesized, it is easy to synthesize mixes of such degenerate sequences, and they can be useful as primers to launch the synthesis of longer DNA molecules.

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