pu·​trid | \ ˈpyü-trəd How to pronounce putrid (audio) \

Definition of putrid

1a : being in a state of putrefaction : rotten
b : of, relating to, or characteristic of putrefaction : foul a putrid odor
2a : morally corrupt
b : totally objectionable

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Other Words from putrid

putridity \ pyü-​ˈtri-​də-​tē How to pronounce putridity (audio) \ noun
putridly \ ˈpyü-​trəd-​lē How to pronounce putridly (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for putrid


addled, bad, corrupted, decayed, decomposed, putrefied, rotten, spoiled



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Choose the Right Synonym for putrid

malodorous, stinking, fetid, noisome, putrid, rank, fusty, musty mean bad-smelling. malodorous may range from the unpleasant to the strongly offensive. malodorous fertilizers stinking and fetid suggest the foul or disgusting. prisoners were held in stinking cells the fetid odor of skunk cabbage noisome adds a suggestion of being harmful or unwholesome as well as offensive. a stagnant, noisome sewer putrid implies particularly the sickening odor of decaying organic matter. the putrid smell of rotting fish rank suggests a strong unpleasant smell. rank cigar smoke fusty and musty suggest lack of fresh air and sunlight, fusty also implying prolonged uncleanliness, musty stressing the effects of dampness, mildew, or age. a fusty attic the musty odor of a damp cellar

Examples of putrid in a Sentence

a putrid shade of green the putrid remains of a dead raccoon on the side of the highway

Recent Examples on the Web

The putrid work required an excavator and a front-end loader, which the team used to peel back layers of blubber to collect samples from the whale’s organs. David Abel, BostonGlobe.com, "As right whales surge north, one death too many," 15 June 2019 The putrid macro algae, or sargassum, is being brought from somewhere between the Atlantic Ocean and Brazil by ocean currents. Adrienne Jordan, USA TODAY, "Should you travel this summer to Mexico amid safety, algae and political concerns?," 12 June 2019 Imagine a garden filled with every variety of flower in the world — delicate orchids, towering sunflowers, the waxy blossoms of the saguaro cactus and the corpse flower’s putrid eruptions. Quanta Magazine, "Proof Finds That All Change Is a Mix of Order and Randomness," 27 Mar. 2019 Thanks to the Mets’ putrid offense, deGrom has a record of 5-7 and a vexing inability—through no fault of his own—to win. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "The Mets Are So Bad They Killed the Win," 7 Aug. 2018 If there’s a mangy cat prowling around or the barbicide looks putrid, get out of there. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "Your Haircut Is (Probably) Too Cheap," 18 July 2018 Bengals: Matt Barkley has a putrid 63.7 passer rating in five seasons spent mostly in a reserve capacity. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "Ranking NFL backup QBs by team: Who has best contingency plan?," 27 June 2018 For decades, government agencies have grappled over what to do about the New River, whose putrid green water runs like a primordial stew from Mexico's sprawling city of Mexicali through California's Imperial Valley. Shelby Grad, latimes.com, "Essential California: Drama at America's doorstep," 3 May 2018 A full year from those two will help bolster things, as will a second-year adjustment from Dansby Swanson, who was putrid last season (.232/.312/.324) but is off to a hot start in 2018. Si.com Staff, SI.com, "Nine Innings: Blowing Up Small Sample Sizes, Heroic Homer Feats and Establishing an All-MLB Team," 2 Apr. 2018

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

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First Known Use of putrid

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for putrid

Latin putridus, from putrēre to be rotten, from puter, putris rotten; akin to Latin putēre to stink — more at foul

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Statistics for putrid

Last Updated

19 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for putrid

The first known use of putrid was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for putrid



English Language Learners Definition of putrid

: decayed with usually a very bad or disgusting smell
informal : very ugly, bad, or unpleasant


pu·​trid | \ ˈpyü-trəd How to pronounce putrid (audio) \

Kids Definition of putrid

1 : rotten sense 1 putrid meat
2 : coming from or suggesting something rotten a putrid smell


pu·​trid | \ ˈpyü-trəd How to pronounce putrid (audio) \

Medical Definition of putrid

1 : being in a state of putrefaction
2 : of, relating to, or characteristic of putrefaction a putrid odor

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More from Merriam-Webster on putrid

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for putrid

Spanish Central: Translation of putrid

Nglish: Translation of putrid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of putrid for Arabic Speakers

Comments on putrid

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


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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