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 hickory wood has been treated to prevent mold and rot. Outdoor Life, "The best wood pellets to upgrade your grilling," 14 May 2020 The winds blow a roof off and contractors race to replace it before rain can rot out the walls and seep into the foundation. Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica, "Climate Change Won’t Stop for the Coronavirus Pandemic," 13 Apr. 2020 Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis recently found dozens of cases of the masks in storage but couldn't use them because the elastic straps had dry-rotted and needed to be replaced. David Williams, CNN, "Volunteers fixed 20,000 N95 masks for Memphis hospital in a weekend," 7 Apr. 2020 Fruits rotted on trees as horticulture, a Rs6,500 crore industry employing around three million people, had fewer workers during harvest time. Riyaz Wani, Quartz India, "Imagine the Indian lockdown without the internet and phones. Now think Kashmir," 26 Mar. 2020 The excess algae can be a nuisance, tangling boat propellers and rotting on beaches. Erik Stokstad, Science | AAAS, "Fishing trawlers could harm water quality by disrupting seafloor microbes," 3 Mar. 2020 Unlike mature garlic, there is no peeling, no worries of buying that bulb that has sat for too long and has begun to rot from the inside out. Christian Reynoso, SFChronicle.com, "Bounty: New recipe column from Zuni Cafe chef celebrates best of California," 28 Feb. 2020 While those in power have continued their grip on things, there are signs of weakness and rot from within the theocratic regime. John J. Kelly, Detroit Free Press, "Holiday gift guide 2019: The best books that will inspire and delight readers," 7 Dec. 2019 The most successful walls stood for decades or even centuries until the state that supported them rotted from some cause or other. Time, "The Berlin Wall Is a Reminder That Barriers Last Only As Long as the Political Will to Defend Them," 8 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun With two branches of government thus disengaged from constructive oversight, only the federal judiciary is capable of reining in the department and stopping the systemic rot. Jonathan Stevenson, The New York Review of Books, "With Flynn, Barr Burns Justice to Feed Trump’s ‘Obamagate’ Fantasy," 15 May 2020 Trump’s unprecedented ability to avoid accountability for his conduct is at the core of the rot that has formed in his presidency. Time, "If the Senate Doesn't Hold Trump Accountable, the Damage Will Go Far Beyond This Presidency," 29 Jan. 2020 Watching Jamie's wound fester and rot is bad; watching Claire's futile attempt to heal him back at Fraser's Ridge is downright painful. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "Sam Heughan Explains Jamie and Claire's ‘Most Intimate’ Outlander Moment Yet," 20 Apr. 2020 Nolla also has food-tracking software more commonly used among corporate food service companies to keep track of what sells and what rots. Emily Matchar, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Rise of ‘Zero-Waste’ Restaurants," 16 Mar. 2020 In short, the United States has a galloping case of authoritarian rot, in large part because the fundamental ideas motivating the Constitution are poles apart from how people actually behave. Ryan Cooper, TheWeek, "American democracy is dying," 7 Feb. 2020 Yet what Epstein revealed was less individual lapses than systemic rot in our culture—especially at our universities, which have become drive-through reputational laundromats. Anand Giridharadas, Time, "How America’s Elites Lost Their Grip," 21 Nov. 2019 In what was likely a long and slow process, pursued through trial and error, different communities developed different methods for stopping the rot. Nicola Twilley, Wired, "A One-Time Poultry Farmer Invents the Future of Refrigeration," 1 Apr. 2020 But this crisis offers an opportunity to make much bigger structural criticisms of the status quo, to illuminate to Americans exactly the kind of rot that has led us here, and provide a vision for a better future after the virus. Libby Watson, The New Republic, "The Coronavirus Is a Test of Joe Biden’s Ideas," 12 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for rot

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for rot

Last Updated

30 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rot.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rot. Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for rot

rot

verb
How to pronounce rot (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rot

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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