rot·​gut ˈrät-ˌgət How to pronounce rotgut (audio)
: cheap or inferior liquor

Examples of rotgut in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As alcohol bans lingered, poorer quality substitutes increasingly overwhelmed the black market: bathtub gin, pure grain alcohol and other rotguts. David Reamer | Alaska History, Anchorage Daily News, 23 July 2023 But mingling with Robert Mitchum and Lana Turner, cocktail in hand, makes even a rotgut movie a top-shelf experience. Maureen Lee Lenker,, 16 May 2023 Born in 1912 to a Kashmiri family in the northern state of Punjab, Manto fell under the spell of Gorky and Poe, not to mention the rotgut that would kill him at the age of forty-two. Parul Sehgal, The New Yorker, 26 Dec. 2022 During that time, rotgut liquor wasn’t ideal for drinking straight, which made speakeasies get creative, birthing some delicious cocktails that endure to this day. Jeremy Repanich, Robb Report, 14 Nov. 2021 Moonshine that falls into the rotgut category could be dangerous and even deadly for anyone desperate enough to drink it. Alan Ashe, CNN, 7 June 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rotgut.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1632, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of rotgut was in 1632

Dictionary Entries Near rotgut

Cite this Entry

“Rotgut.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jun. 2024.

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