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

Floodwaters already receding on one stretch of Interstate 40 left thousands of rotting fish on the pavement for firefighters to clean up. Frank Miles, Fox News, "Florence could trigger 'record' flooding in South Carolina; thousands urged to evacuate," 24 Sep. 2018 Apples emit a lot of ethylene, which is the gas that causes fruit to ripen and eventually rot. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "How to Pick the Best Apples Every Single Time," 12 Sep. 2018 Sometimes the roots start rotting long before the tree notices. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Nikita Gill Is Reimagining Fairytales as Empowering Messages for Adult Women," 10 Sep. 2018 The Washington expert drove 30,000+ miles, waded bogs, dissected rotting logs and combed fleas from a mountain beaver in his 14-year survey of Northwest insects. Sandi Doughton, The Seattle Times, "What’s that bug? New Northwest field guide makes it easy to find out," 20 Aug. 2018 King, concerned with waste in agriculture, had noted that siloed crops got stuck and rotted in the corners of traditional rectangular silos. Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "UW scientific advances include vitamins, growing human embryonic stem cells in lab," 12 July 2018 Flip and blab to Mueller, or rot in jail in the hopes of being pardoned by the president. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "Donald Trump Still Doesn’t Know the Words to “God Bless America,” and More News We Learned This Week," 10 June 2018 During its brief bloom — as short as 12 hours, years apart — the massive flower emits a powerful stink that has been compared to burnt or rotting flesh. Bruce Henderson, charlotteobserver, "Hold your nose and grab a spot in line. A 'corpse flower' will soon bloom at UNCC. | Charlotte Observer," 18 Apr. 2018 Luckily, there’s no reason not to shop for keeps, considering faux furs won’t rot or require special storage. Devorah Rose, Fortune, "Commentary: Here’s What Could End Fur’s Grip on Fashion," 28 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Plants grown in the ground rarely have blossom-end rot locally. Tom Maccubbin, OrlandoSentinel.com, "How to treat blossom-end rot," 9 June 2018 Saving plants in containers means keeping them in high light levels but out of the daily rains, which encourage rot. Tom Maccubbin, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Summer heat, rain not kind to geraniums," 30 June 2018 And children lose parents, and parents lose children, and everything rots from within. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Donald Trump paints the border as a lawless hellhole. But so does American pop culture.," 22 June 2018 The denser the arrangement, the longer the fruit can resist rot. Matt Simon, WIRED, "The Amphiphilic Liquid Coating That Keeps Your Avocados Fresh," 21 June 2018 John, John, the fish rots from the head, is that the saying? Fox News, "Ingraham: A borderless world," 21 June 2018 In the 1800s, for example, a single clone of the Irish lumper potato fed Ireland's growing population until a rot wiped it out, devastating the island's people and economy. Rebecca Albright, Scientific American, "Scientists Are Taking Extreme Steps to Help Corals Survive," 1 Jan. 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

15 Nov 2018

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

: 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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Comments on rot

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