Degenerate vs Derelict - What's the difference?

degenerate | derelict |


As adjectives the difference between degenerate and derelict

is that degenerate is (of qualities) having deteriorated, degraded or fallen from normal, coherent, balanced and desirable to undesirable and typically abnormal while derelict is abandoned, forsake; given up or forsaken by the natural owner or guardian; (of a ship) abandoned at sea, dilapidated, neglected; (of a spacecraft) abandoned in outer space.

As nouns the difference between degenerate and derelict

is that degenerate is one is degenerate, who has fallen from previous stature while derelict is property abandoned by its former owner, especially a ship abandoned at sea.

As a verb degenerate

is to lose good or desirable qualities.

degenerate

English

Adjective

(en adjective)
  • (of qualities) Having deteriorated, degraded or fallen from normal, coherent, balanced and desirable to undesirable and typically abnormal.
  • * Shakespeare
  • faint-hearted and degenerate king
  • * Jonathan Swift
  • degenerate from their ancient blood
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-03
  • , author= , title=The Smallest Cell , volume=101, issue=2, page=83 , magazine= citation , passage=It is likely that the long evolutionary trajectory of Mycoplasma went from a reductive autotroph to oxidative heterotroph to a cell-wall–defective degenerate parasite. This evolutionary trajectory assumes the simplicity to complexity route of biogenesis, a point of view that is not universally accepted.}}
  • (of a human or system) Having lost good or desirable qualities.
  • (of an encoding or function) Having multiple domain elements correspond to one element of the range.
  • ''The genetic code is degenerate because a single amino acid can be coded by one of several codons.
  • (mathematics) A degenerate case is a limiting case in which a class of object changes its nature so as to belong to another, usually simpler, class.
  • (physics) Having the same quantum energy level.
  • Derived terms

    * (physics) degenerate matter

    Noun

    (en noun)
  • One is degenerate, who has fallen from previous stature.
  • You are a degenerate , boy. You're a disgrace to your ancestors.

    Verb

    (degenerat)
  • To lose good or desirable qualities.
  • His condition continued to degenerate even after admission to hospital.
  • * 1870 , Shirley Hibberd, Rustic Adornments for Homes of Taste (page 170)
  • Another bird quickly learned to imitate the song of a canary that was mated with it, but as the parrakeet improved in the performance the canary degenerated , and came at last to mingle the other bird's harsh chitterings with its own proper music.
  • To cause to lose good or desirable qualities.
  • Derived terms

    * degeneration

    derelict

    English

    Adjective

    (en adjective)
  • Abandoned, forsake; given up or forsaken by the natural owner or guardian; (of a ship) abandoned at sea, dilapidated, neglected; (of a spacecraft) abandoned in outer space.
  • There was a derelict ship on the island.
  • * Jeremy Taylor
  • The affections which these exposed or derelict children bear to their mothers, have no grounds of nature or assiduity but civility and opinion.
  • * {{quote-news
  • , year=2011 , title=When and where did NASA's derelict satellite go down? citation
  • Negligent in performing a duty.
  • Lost; adrift; hence, wanting; careless; neglectful; unfaithful.
  • * Burke
  • They easily prevailed, so as to seize upon the vacant, unoccupied, and derelict minds of his friends; and instantly they turned the vessel wholly out of the course of his policy.
  • * John Buchanan
  • A government which is either unable or unwilling to redress such wrongs is derelict to its highest duties.

    Synonyms

    * (abandoned) abandoned

    Noun

    (en noun)
  • Property abandoned by its former owner, especially a ship abandoned at sea.
  • * {{quote-book
  • , year=1907 , title=(The Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses) , author=Robert W. Service , chapter=(The Cremation of Sam McGee) , passage=Till I came to the marge of Lake Lebarge, and a derelict there lay; / It was jammed in the ice, but I saw in a trice it was called the "Alice May". / And I looked at it, and I thought a bit, and I looked at my frozen chum; / Then "Here", said I, with a sudden cry, "is my cre-ma-tor-eum."}}
  • (dated) An abandoned or forsaken person; an outcast.
  • * 1911 Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax” (Norton 2005, p.1364):
  • A rather pathetic figure, the Lady Frances, a beautiful woman, still in fresh middle age, and yet, by a strange chance, the last derelict of what only twenty years ago was a goodly fleet.
  • A homeless and/or jobless person; a person who is (perceived as) negligent in their personal affairs and hygiene.
  • * 1988 , Jonathan D. Spence, The Question of Hu :
  • As they hunt, the Archers and Duval find many derelicts and ne'er-do-wells in many parts of Paris.
  • * 2002 , in The Cambridge Edition of the Works of D. H. Lawrence'', ''The Boy in the Bush , edited by Paul Eggert, page 22:
  • If they're lazy derelicts and ne'er-do-wells she'll eat 'em up. But she's waiting for real men — British to the bone —
  • * 2004 , Katherine V. W. Stone, From Widgets to Digits: Employment Regulation , page 280:
  • We see the distinction at work when victims of natural disasters and terrorist attacks are treated more generously than derelicts and drug addicts.

    See also

    * flotsam * jetsam * lagan * salvage