\ ˈdrī-ˌrät How to pronounce dry-rot (audio) \
dry-rotted; dry-rotting; dry-rots

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

Noun The windowsill was badly damaged by dry rot. Dry rot had eaten away part of the beam.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Reduce the incidence of dry rot, which mummifies stored potatoes, by keeping the fleshy roots at 55 to 60 degrees. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "A Guide to Growing Sweet Potatoes in Your Backyard," 21 May 2020 But those bungee cords will dry rot, or simply wear out, over time. Joseph Albanese, Outdoor Life, "6 Waterfowl Projects You Need to Do Before Opening Day," 28 May 2020 Donahue later discovered a decontamination tent destroyed by dry rot. Jenn Abelson, Washington Post, "Boom-and-bust federal funding after 9/11 undercut hospitals’ preparedness for pandemics," 2 May 2020 This comes amid reports nationally that nearly 6,000 medical masks shipped from the national stockpile to Alabama had dry rot, and that faulty elastic on masks sent to Oregon also were unusable, according to the New York Times. Detroit Free Press, "22,000 surgical masks sent to U-M from strategic national stockpile are unusable," 14 Apr. 2020 The wood sold nowadays is new growth that does not fare well when exposed to sun, rain, termites or dry rot. Pat Kapowich, The Mercury News, "Sponsored: Don’t play the blame game over rotting fence posts; some simple steps can reinforce friendship and property values," 22 Aug. 2019 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.

See More

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

Time Traveler for dry-rot

Time Traveler

The first known use of dry-rot was in 1795

See more words from the same year

Statistics for dry-rot

Cite this Entry

“Dry-rot.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dry-rot. Accessed 24 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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