Synonyms & Antonyms of rot

(Entry 1 of 2)

2 the process by which dead organic matter separates into simpler substances
  • the rot begins shortly after the fish are killed

Synonyms for rot

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Synonyms & Antonyms of rot (Entry 2 of 2)

2 to go through decomposition
  • rotting vegetation on the bank of the river

Synonyms for rot

Words Related to rot

Phrases Synonymous with rot

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Frequently Asked Questions About rot

How is the word rot different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of rot are decay, decompose, putrefy, and spoil. While all these words mean "to undergo destructive dissolution," rot is a close synonym of decompose and often connotes foulness.

fruit was left to rot in warehouses

Where would decay be a reasonable alternative to rot?

The words decay and rot are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, decay implies a slow change from a state of soundness or perfection.

a decaying mansion

When can decompose be used instead of rot?

The words decompose and rot can be used in similar contexts, but decompose stresses a breaking down by chemical change and when applied to organic matter a corruption.

the strong odor of decomposing vegetation

When would putrefy be a good substitute for rot?

While in some cases nearly identical to rot, putrefy implies the rotting of animal matter and offensiveness to sight and smell.

corpses putrefying on the battlefield

In what contexts can spoil take the place of rot?

While the synonyms spoil and rot are close in meaning, spoil applies chiefly to the decomposition of foods.

keep the ham from spoiling

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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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Cite this Entry

“Rot.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on rot

Nglish: Translation of rot for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rot for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about rot


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