rot

verb
\ ˈrät How to pronounce rot (audio) \
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

The original was dry-rotted from being left down for about 15 years. Popular Mechanics, "The 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SL Is the Car I Always Wanted," 9 Aug. 2018 The regime also may be rotting from within as various factions argue over issues such as the high cost of supporting proxy forces in the region, including Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Syrian Army. The Christian Science Monitor, "Let Iranians decide the regime’s future," 7 May 2018 The Pines resort, where Ms. Greco Sunshine, a professional singer, made her regional debut in 1970 at the age of 10, and which closed in the late 1990s, is now a rotting hulk. C. J. Hughes, New York Times, "In the Catskills, New Hope for the Return of Tourism," 27 Mar. 2018 That can lead to rotting fascia boards and possibly water entering the attic. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "How to Repair Your Gutters and Save Your Home," 16 Jan. 2019 In an effort to fend off the water from rotting their feet. Eric Johnson, Recode, "How Peter Jackson’s team made World War I footage look new," 15 Dec. 2018 If Logan Paul decides to prank his brother with a cooler full of rotting food, Majlak straps up and helps him secure the package with duct tape. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "Meet the babysitter who helps Logan Paul stay out of trouble on YouTube," 3 Dec. 2018 Caribbean newspapers are filled with news of rotting seaweed carted away in trucks, dead dolphins and ruined tourist spots. David Fleshler, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Seaweed assaults South Florida beaches," 20 June 2018 The nearest escape from the misery of damp cobwebs and the flesh of rotting salmon was a 400-yard crawl away. Author: Christine Cunningham, Anchorage Daily News, "How the Cow Face Pose can make you a better duck hunter," 19 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The rot set in after a damning inspection of children’s services in 2013, where failures have so far cost £60m to put right. The Economist, "Northamptonshire council has gone bust. Who is to blame?," 22 Mar. 2018 And pundits on the right and left rushed to demonstrate their own virtue by trashing high school students as somehow symptomatic of America’s cultural rot in the Age of Trump. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The High School Deplorables," 22 Jan. 2019 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

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

22 Mar 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 How to pronounce rot (audio) \
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 How to pronounce rot (audio) \
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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