From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44 [gcide]:
2. (Physiol.) That condition of a tissue or an organ in which its vitality has become either diminished or perverted; a substitution of a lower for a higher form of structure; as, fatty degeneration of the liver.
From WordNet (r) 2.0 [wn]:
From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 [moby-thes]:
131 Moby Thesaurus words for "degeneration": abandon, abandonment, abjection, about-face, accommodation, adaptation, adjustment, alteration, amelioration, apostasy, atrophy, betterment, break, change, change of heart, changeableness, closed loop, closed sequence, comedown, constructive change, continuity, conversion, corruptedness, corruption, corruptness, current-control circuit, debasement, decadence, decadency, declension, declination, decline, defection, deformation, degeneracy, degenerateness, degenerative change, degradation, demoralization, demotion, depravation, depravedness, depravity, depreciation, derogation, descent, deterioration, deviation, devolution, difference, discontinuity, dissoluteness, divergence, diversification, diversion, diversity, downfall, downgrade, downtrend, downturn, downward mobility, downward trend, drop, dying, ebb, effeteness, fading, failing, failure, failure of nerve, fall, falling-off, feedback, fitting, flip-flop, flip-flop circuit, gradual change, improvement, involution, lapse, loss of tone, melioration, mitigation, modification, modulation, moral pollution, moral turpitude, overthrow, perversion, positive feedback, process loop, profligacy, qualification, quality loop, radical change, re-creation, realignment, redesign, reform, reformation, regression, remaking, renewal, reprobacy, reshaping, restructuring, retrocession, retrogradation, retrogression, reversal, reversed feedback, revival, revivification, revolution, rottenness, shift, slippage, slump, sudden change, switch, total change, transition, turn, turnabout, turpitude, upheaval, variation, variety, violent change, wane, worsening
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