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 Time is of the essence: For every day that passes with Trump holdovers in place, there are further opportunities for these agents of the prior administration to add rot to the roots of Biden’s presidency. Eleanor Eagan, The New Republic, "Trump Holdovers Are Dragging Down the Biden Agenda," 29 Apr. 2021 Made of cedar, this product is naturally insect- and rot-resistant. Angela Watson, chicagotribune.com, "Garden essentials of 2021," 1 Apr. 2021 Made of a rot-resistant cedar finish, this playground is perfect for up to 8 kids and can hold up to 1200lb. Samantha De Leon, Chron, "Affordable backyard playsets to keep your kids busy for hours," 15 Mar. 2021 Whenever there was a dispute, the workers could stop the line, threatening to let the hog carcasses rot until the company resolved their grievance. Bernice Yeung, ProPublica, "How the History of Waterloo, Iowa, Explains How Meatpacking Plants Became Hotbeds of COVID-19," 21 Dec. 2020 Instead of curating a space with something that will wilt or rot away, fake fruit, flowers, and cakes can last forever. refinery29.com, "Crochet Bananas & Paper Flowers: Why Fake Homeware Is Having A Moment," 26 Apr. 2021 But when seed is exposed to rain and snow, the moisture can cause rot. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "An Avian Feast: 3 Bird Feeders You Can Build For Your Backyard," 17 Apr. 2021 Given the speed with which larch logs rot and warp, the researchers determined that the idol was fashioned from a tree that had just been cut. New York Times, "How the World’s Oldest Wooden Sculpture Is Reshaping Prehistory," 22 Mar. 2021 His life’s a testament to what finds you when you’re left by institutional neglect and cultural rot to your own devices, and the arduous efforts required to even your odds. Craig Jenkins, Vulture, "A Man Named Earl," 12 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun During the summer months of 1942, shoppers in Peoria grocery stores began to notice a strange presence in the fresh produce aisles, a young woman intently examining the fruit on display, picking out and purchasing the ones with visible rot. New York Times, "How Humanity Gave Itself an Extra Life," 27 Apr. 2021 Some blemishes, knots and discoloring are natural, but keep an eye out for rot or damage that may otherwise affect your finished product. April Goess, San Antonio Express-News, "Expert tips for navigating farmers markets better from The Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio," 8 Apr. 2021 It’s these true-native Texans who are refashioning those tired tropes, all while steering the state leftward, toward a more multiethnic polity aimed squarely against the authoritarian rot at the heart of the Texas Republican Party. Casey Michel, The New Republic, "The Republican Poseurs Who Claim to Be True Texans," 30 Mar. 2021 Most of the older hardwood trees have been cut down, and with them many of the larger, higher tree cavities that form when heart-rot fungi attack the center of a tree trunk. Yao-hua Law, The Atlantic, "Helmeted Hornbills Are Very Picky About Their Nests," 16 Dec. 2020 But somewhere, sometime, a bit of rot crept into Yale’s foundation. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "Pruning PC Poison from the Ivies," 11 Apr. 2021 The rot is deep; the U.S. Navy has underestimated submarine maintenance needs for more than two decades. Craig Hooper, Forbes, "New Subs Need Biden To Boost Navy’s Broken Public Shipyards," 6 Apr. 2021 The Trial of the Chicago 7, a historical courtroom drama about the rot in U.S. politics, spoke about the deadly Capitol riots incited by former President Donald Trump by quoting the activist Abbie Hoffman, whom Cohen portrayed in the film. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "An American Reckoning at the Golden Globes," 1 Mar. 2021 That callous tone comes from the top and exposes the rot running through the Cuomo administration. Karol Markowicz, Washington Examiner, "Always a bully," 18 Mar. 2021

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

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rot.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rot. Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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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

Comments on rot

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