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 pilings will be made of Greenheart trees, which grow to be 100 feet tall and are known to be one of the most durable and rot resistant woods in the world. Kathleen Mcwilliams, courant.com, "Rocky Hill Ferry, Chester-Hadlyme Ferry to see $4 million in repairs," 26 June 2019 The nonprofit has found a way to integrate a food shelf, food-rescue operation, supply center and delivery system — feeding about 5,600 people a month with food that would have ended up rotting in landfills. Bob Shaw, Twin Cities, "With pop-up food shelves and grocery rescue missions, an Oakdale nonprofit finds new ways to feed the hungry," 23 June 2019 In a land where sinners and suspected insurgents are publicly executed and then strung up to rot in town squares, June continues to demonstrate a knack for skirting past the worst consequences. Hank Stuever, Washington Post, "Some grim news about ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’: It’s getting boring," 4 June 2019 King Saebert gets ruled out Since most of the organic material rotted away in the Prittlewell tomb's acidic soil, obtaining radio carbon dates was always going to be tricky, says Hirst. Roff Smith, National Geographic, "New research questions famed burial of ‘first’ Christian Anglo-Saxon king," 8 May 2019 There were prison rape jokes, and calls for Cunningham to rot in hell. Alexander Huls, Popular Mechanics, "The Great Star Wars Heist," 7 Mar. 2019 Instead, she was sent to rot in a solitary cell at the Ravensbrück concentration camp. Elizabeth Winkler, WSJ, "‘Code Name: Lise’ Review: The War’s Most Decorated Woman," 11 Jan. 2019 After the battle, villagers buried rotting corpses in mass graves — men and farm animals all interred together. Washington Post, "South of D-Day beaches, another slaughter is remembered," 5 June 2019 An estimated 120,000 North Koreans, in some cases whole families, rot in labour camps. The Economist, "Kim Jong Un did better than Donald Trump at the Singapore summit," 14 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The fecundity and rot of the Florida setting permeate throughout. Eugenia Williamson, BostonGlobe.com, "Kristen Arnett’s promising debut dwells in a Sunshine state of mind," 27 June 2019 Once white rot is found in a field, it cannot be eradicated or cured with our current knowledge and materials, and that crop may not be grown again in that field. Margaret Lauterbach, idahostatesman, "Check on the health of your rose bushes and climbers | Idaho Statesman," 4 Apr. 2018 All five of these shorts are about people suddenly confronted with the deep rot underneath reality. Noel Murray, latimes.com, "Reviews: Matthias Schoenaerts stars in ‘The Command’; plus ‘Nightmare Cinema’ and more," 20 June 2019 This scandal of secrecy points to a creeping rot in the American justice system. David Von Drehle, Twin Cities, "David Von Drehle: Jeffrey Epstein’s scandal of secrecy points to a creeping rot in the American justice system," 19 June 2019 Will the Ugandan government be able to maintain what’s been built, or will millions of dollars of infrastructure rot in the forest? Nina Strochlic, National Geographic, "In Uganda, a unique urban experiment is under way," 17 June 2019 Since the wood has been chemically treated to withstand rot, mold, and insects, people tend to gravitate toward it—and its low price point ($1.50 to $2.50 per square foot) doesn’t hurt either. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, "How to Choose the Best Deck Material for Your House," 22 May 2019 Avoid evaporation loss and rot by watering in the early morning. 8. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "8 Next-Level Lawn Care Tips," 26 July 2018 Choose a naturally rot-resistant wood such as cedar or locust, or use pine treated with a preservative. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About Container Gardening," 13 Aug. 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

12 Jul 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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