I resolved to do what I could, in a quiet way, to improve our proceedings myself, but I foresaw that my utmost would be very little, or I must degenerate into the spider again, and be for ever lying in wait.
She laid her hand on my arm, and hurried me on to one of the sombre streets, of which there are several in that part, where the houses were once fair dwellings in the occupation of single families, but have, and had, long degenerated into poor lodgings let off in rooms.
There are no more uses of "degenerate" in the book.
Show samples from other sources
"If our search degenerates to that level I’ll be sure to call on you," I said without looking in his direction.
Patrick Rothfuss -- The Name of the Wind
By nature I am high-strung and animated, but when frustration confronts me head-on, I degenerate into a demoniac.