Definition of dry-rot 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to affect with dry rot

intransitive verb

: to become affected with dry rot

dry rot


Definition of dry rot (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a decay of seasoned timber caused by fungi that consume the cellulose of wood leaving a soft skeleton which is readily reduced to powder

b : a fungal rot of plant tissue in which the affected areas are dry and often firmer than normal or more or less mummified

2 : a fungus causing dry rot

3 : decay from within caused especially by resistance to new forces

Examples of dry-rot in a Sentence


The windowsill was badly damaged by dry rot. Dry rot had eaten away part of the beam.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Soft spots may indicate wet or dry rot, especially if the floor above sags. Jim Gorman, Popular Mechanics, "The DIY Home Inspection Checklist," 30 Mar. 2015

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dry-rot.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of dry-rot


1870, in the meaning defined at transitive sense


1795, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dry-rot

Dictionary Entries near dry-rot

dry rendering

dry rent

dry rice


dry rot

dry rubble

dry run

Statistics for dry-rot

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dry-rot

The first known use of dry-rot was in 1795

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for dry-rot

dry rot


English Language Learners Definition of dry rot

: a condition in which wood is destroyed by a type of fungus

Comments on dry-rot

What made you want to look up dry-rot? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


lying above or upon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!