rot

verb
\ ˈrät \
rotted; rotting

Definition of rot

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to undergo decomposition from the action of bacteria or fungi
b : to become unsound or weak (as from use or chemical action)
2a : to go to ruin : deteriorate
b : to become morally corrupt : degenerate

transitive verb

: to cause to decompose or deteriorate with or as if with rot

rot

noun

Definition of rot (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : the process of rotting : the state of being rotten : decay
b : something rotten or rotting
2a archaic : a wasting putrescent disease
b : any of several parasitic diseases especially of sheep marked by necrosis and wasting
c : plant disease marked by breakdown of tissues and caused especially by fungi or bacteria
3 : nonsense often used interjectionally

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Choose the Right Synonym for rot

Verb

decay, decompose, rot, putrefy, spoil mean to undergo destructive dissolution. decay implies a slow change from a state of soundness or perfection. a decaying mansion decompose stresses a breaking down by chemical change and when applied to organic matter a corruption. the strong odor of decomposing vegetation rot is a close synonym of decompose and often connotes foulness. fruit was left to rot in warehouses putrefy implies the rotting of animal matter and offensiveness to sight and smell. corpses putrefying on the battlefield spoil applies chiefly to the decomposition of foods. keep the ham from spoiling

Examples of rot in a Sentence

Verb

The wood had rotted away. The apples were left to rot. the smell of rotting garbage Eating too much candy can rot your teeth.

Noun

They found a lot of rot in the house's roof. That's a lot of rot!
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Wood handles splinter and rot; blades can quickly rust. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "Here's the Only Shovel You'll Ever Need," 1 Feb. 2019 Water flowed daily under the wooden Railroad Avenue, which ran along the waterfront, causing the support columns to weaken and rot. Michelle Baruchman, The Seattle Times, "A look back at the Alaskan Way Viaduct as its demise — and the new Highway 99 tunnel — draw near," 7 Jan. 2019 While refrigeration can slow the decomposition of bodies, many of the corpses had been recovered from clandestine graves in the state and are already rotted, officials said. Fox News, "Residents complain about smell after 157 unidentified bodies discovered in morgue trailer in Mexico," 18 Sep. 2018 There’s no one way to describe the scent of a beached, rotting whale. Matt Simon, WIRED, "The Messy, Malodorous Mystery of the Dead 60-Foot Whale," 31 May 2018 Back-to-back E. coli outbreaks this year linked to romaine lettuce resulted in hundreds of illnesses and five deaths, leaving lettuce to rot in fields and clearing store shelves of the leafy salad green. Jesse Newman, WSJ, "Foodborne Illness Outbreaks in Spotlight as Technology Improves," 18 Dec. 2018 Their flowers are guaranteed to never rot in a vase & stink up your kitchen. Fernando Alfonso Iii, Houston Chronicle, "Ikea Challenge: Houston blogger turns Ikea trip into photoshoot opportunity," 11 Apr. 2018 Without air, your pile will start to rot and smell. Michaela Hermanova, Good Housekeeping, "The Easiest Way to Start Composting," 3 Sep. 2016 For the better part of the last 50 years, Redford has seduced Hollywood from a distance, aware that both the fruits of creativity and creatives themselves tend to rot with overexposure. Marley Marius, Vogue, "An Ode to Robert Redford, on What May Be His Retirement From Acting," 25 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The British navy gobbled up the colonies’ longleaf for its rot-resistant wood and gummy sap, from which turpentine and pitch were made. Ryan Dezember, WSJ, "Thousands of Southerners Planted Trees for Retirement. It Didn’t Work.," 9 Oct. 2018 And then shell of a bomb: Dan and Blair kiss and all that is good and pure in the world shrivels up and rots. Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, "Every Single Episode of Gossip Girl, Ranked," 19 Sep. 2018 Beatrice Sanders is living in a FEMA trailer parked next to her home, which Harvey left uninhabitable with rot and mold. Jim Carlton, WSJ, "As Texas Recovers From Harvey, Port Arthur Struggles," 13 Aug. 2018 Another trick: Store garlic under an unglazed clay flower pot in a cupboard, creating a small humidor without cutting off air circulation, which can lead to rot. Jean Nick, Good Housekeeping, "7 Ways You Can Make Your Garlic Last Longer," 27 July 2018 Mulch piled up against woody stems of shrubs and trees can also cause rot and encourages rodents (such as voles and mice) to nest there. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "How to Mulch Your Garden and Stop Weeds in Their Tracks," 26 June 2018 The rot started as early as the 11th minute, when Müller capitalised on slack marking from a corner to fire Germany in front. SI.com, "World Cup Countdown: 1 Day to Go - Hosts Brazil Suffer Record Humiliation Against Phenomenal Germans," 13 June 2018 Until this is changed, the present rot and destruction of young lives will continue. WSJ, "Better Pay Won’t Solve School-Structure Ills," 29 May 2018 Onions are also subject to pink root, which causes roots to turn various colors and then shrivel, and neck rot, which causes tissues to form a hard, black crust. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "How To Grow Onions," 1 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rot.' 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 rot

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for rot

Verb

Middle English roten, from Old English rotian; akin to Old High German rōzzēn to rot

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Learn More about rot

Dictionary Entries near rot

rosy finch

rosy gull

rosy periwinkle

rot

rota

Rota

rotacism

Statistics for rot

Last Updated

8 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rot

The first known use of rot was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for rot

rot

verb

English Language Learners Definition of rot

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to slowly decay or cause (something) to decay

rot

noun

English Language Learners Definition of rot (Entry 2 of 2)

: the process of rotting or the condition that results when something rots
informal + somewhat old-fashioned : foolish words or ideas

rot

verb
\ ˈrät \
rotted; rotting

Kids Definition of rot

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to undergo decay
2 : to go to ruin He was left to rot in jail.

rot

noun

Kids Definition of rot (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the process of decaying : the state of being decayed
2 : something that has decayed or is decaying
\ ˈrät \
rotted; rotting

Medical Definition of rot

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to undergo decomposition from the action of bacteria or fungi

rot

noun

Medical Definition of rot (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the process of rotting : the state of being rotten
2 : any of several parasitic diseases especially of sheep marked by necrosis and wasting

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More from Merriam-Webster on rot

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rot

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rot

Spanish Central: Translation of rot

Nglish: Translation of rot for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rot for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rot

Comments on rot

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