Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To undergo decomposition, especially organic decomposition; decay. synonym: decay.
  • intransitive verb To become damaged, weakened, or useless because of decay.
  • intransitive verb To disappear or fall by decaying.
  • intransitive verb To deteriorate through neglect or inactivity; languish or decline.
  • intransitive verb To decay morally; become degenerate.
  • intransitive verb To cause to decompose or decay.
  • noun The process of rotting or the condition of being rotten.
  • noun Foot rot.
  • noun Any of several plant diseases characterized by the breakdown of tissue and caused by various bacteria, fungi, or oomycetes.
  • noun Pointless talk; nonsense.
  • noun Archaic Any of various diseases causing the decay of flesh.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The process of rotting, or the state of being rotten; also, rotted substance; matter weakened or disintegrated by rotting.
  • noun A condition of rottenness to which certain animals and plants are liable, as the sheep and the potato (see potato), attended by more or less putrescence.
  • noun Disgusting stuff; nauseating nonsense; unendurable trash; rant; twaddle; bosh.
  • Humbug! Nonsense! Stuff!
  • To undergo natural decomposition; fall into a course or a state of elemental dissolution; suffer loss of coherence from decay: used of organic substances which either do or do not putrefy in the process, and sometimes, by extension, of inorganic substances.
  • To become morally corrupt; deteriorate through stagnation or indulgence; suffer loss of stamina or principle.
  • To become morally offensive or putrid; be nauseous or repulsive; excite contempt or disgust.
  • To become affected with the disease called rot.
  • Synonyms Rot, Decay, Putrefy, Corrupt, Decompose. Rot is, by its age and brevity, so energetic a word that it is often considered inelegant, and decay is used as a softer word. That which rots or decays may or may not emit a foul odor, as an egg or an apple; putrefy by derivation implies such foulness of odor, and hence is especially applied to animal matter when it is desired to emphasize that characteristic result of its rotting. Corrupt is sometimes used as a strong but not offensive word for thorough spoiling, that makes a thing repulsive or loathsome. To decompose is to return to the original elements; the word is sometimes used as a euphemism for rot or putrefy. The moral uses of the first four words correspond to the physical.
  • To cause decomposition in; subject to a process of rotting; make rotten: as, dampness rots many things; to rot flax. See ret. Sometimes used imperatively in imprecation. Compare rat, drat.
  • To produce a rotting or putrefactive disease in; specifically, to give the rot to, as sheep or other animals. See rot, n., 2.
  • noun In cricket, the failure of several batsmen on a side.
  • noun See black.
  • noun A name of certain plant-diseases of a bacterial or fungous origin, characterized by decay and blackening of the tissues. The following are the most important: black rot of the apple, caused by Sphæropsis Malorum; black rot of the cabbage, due to Pseudomonas campestris; black rot of the grape, caused by Guignardia Bidwellii; black rot of the pear and quince, caused by Sphæropsis Malorum; black rot of the sweet-potato, caused by Ceratocystis fimbriata (also called black-shank); and black rot of the tomato, caused by Macrosporium Tomato.
  • To ‘make fun’; fool; talk nonsense.
  • To fail successively at batting: said of a cricket eleven.
  • To chaff; make fun of.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To undergo a process common to organic substances by which they lose the cohesion of their parts and pass through certain chemical changes, giving off usually in some stages of the process more or less offensive odors; to become decomposed by a natural process; to putrefy; to decay.
  • intransitive verb Figuratively: To perish slowly; to decay; to die; to become corrupt.
  • transitive verb To make putrid; to cause to be wholly or partially decomposed by natural processes.
  • transitive verb To expose, as flax, to a process of maceration, etc., for the purpose of separating the fiber; to ret.
  • noun Process of rotting; decay; putrefaction.
  • noun (Bot.) A disease or decay in fruits, leaves, or wood, supposed to be caused by minute fungi. See Bitter rot, Black rot, etc., below.
  • noun A fatal distemper which attacks sheep and sometimes other animals. It is due to the presence of a parasitic worm in the liver or gall bladder. See 1st Fluke, 2.
  • noun (Bot.) a disease of apples, caused by the fungus Glæosporium fructigenum.
  • noun (Bot.) a disease of grapevines, attacking the leaves and fruit, caused by the fungus Læstadia Bidwellii.
  • noun (Bot.) See under Dry.
  • noun (Med.) See under Grinder.
  • noun (Bot.) See under Potato.
  • noun (Bot.) a disease of grapes, first appearing in whitish pustules on the fruit, caused by the fungus Coniothyrium diplodiella.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To suffer decomposition due to biological action, especially by fungi or bacteria.
  • verb To decline in function or utility.
  • verb To deteriorate in any way.
  • noun The process of becoming rotten; putrefaction.
  • noun Any of several diseases in which breakdown of tissue occurs.
  • noun Verbal nonsense.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb break down
  • noun a state of decay usually accompanied by an offensive odor

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English roten, from Old English rotian.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English rotten, roten, from Old English rotian ("to rot, become corrupted, ulcerate, putrefy"), from Proto-Germanic *rutōnan (“to rot”), from Proto-Indo-European *reud- (“to tear”), from *reu- (“to tear, dig, gather”). Cognate with West Frisian rotsje ("to rot"), Dutch rotten ("to rot"), German rößen ("to steep flax") and German verrotten ("to rot"), Icelandic rotna ("to rot"). See rotten.

Examples

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