Definition of rot in English:


Syllabification: rot
Pronunciation: /rät

verb (rots, rotting, rotted)

1(Chiefly of animal or vegetable matter) decay or cause to decay by the action of bacteria and fungi; decompose: [no object]: the chalets were neglected and their woodwork was rotting away [with object]: caries sets in at a weak point and spreads to rot the whole tooth
More example sentences
  • After a few days, the sought after botrytis-infected grape can rot further by the action of another fungus into a gooey grey lump.
  • The rubbish rots and gives off gases like methane which is potentially explosive as well as adding to global warming.
  • Potatoes rotted in the hold and drinking water grew thick and poured like oil.
decay, decompose, become rotten;
go bad, spoil, go off;
1.1Gradually deteriorate through lack of attention or opportunity: he cannot understand the way the education system has been allowed to rot
More example sentences
  • None is more difficult to fathom than the studio, which occasionally buys the rights to a film, then allows it to rot away on a shelf.
  • Soon I won't be able to pay for these lessons, then I'll be stuck rotting away at home.
  • Guards' keys jangled as you passed the idle silence and time of your life rotting away.


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1The process of decaying: the leaves were turning black with rot
More example sentences
  • Ryell looked around for something, anything that might be of use, but he saw only the faded gray-blue cushions, the trim of the seats rusted over, the wood black with rot and decay.
  • Think of composting and worms immediately come to mind, not to mention such unsettling concepts as decay and rot.
  • The air had a bite to it present only in the fall months; a snap of death that lacked the clean cold of December, filled instead with half-formed aromas of rot and decay.
1.1Rotten or decayed matter: she was busy cutting the rot from the potatoes
More example sentences
  • As soon as they are rooted from the ground, they will begin to slowly decay and eventually wither into a brown mess of rot.
  • Splitting the stalk reveals internal discoloration and soft slimy rot mostly initiating at the nodes.
  • Stalks with significant rot will crush easily.
1.2 (the rot) A process of deterioration; a decline in standards: it was when they moved back to the family home that the rot set in
More example sentences
  • Afraid that the city centre itself was in danger of becoming a ‘no-go’ area, Ford had come to believe that only the shooting of identified ‘ring leaders’ would stop the rot.
  • In a statement the CWU said that it is ‘vital we stop the rot at an early stage’ or ‘tens of thousands of jobs’ could be lost in the UK.
  • In recent years, Camelot has been struggling to curb falling ticket sales, launching a midweek draw in February 1997 in an attempt to stop the rot.
deterioration, decline;
corruption, cancer
1.3 [usually with modifier] Any of a number of fungal or bacterial diseases that cause tissue deterioration, especially in plants.
More example sentences
  • Bacterial stalk rot can affect the plant at any node from the soil surface up to the ear leaves and tassels.
  • Charcoal rot is a fungal disease favored by hot, dry weather at this stage in crop development.
  • Such antagonism may also protect the corn plant from the E verticillioides disease, stalk rot.
decay, decomposition, mold, mildew, blight, canker;
2 informal Nonsense; rubbish: don’t talk rot
More example sentences
  • In our school, you're not allowed to climb trees - liabilities and all that rot.
  • They say it's to incite a new nationalistic spirit or some such rot.
  • You've just been in terrible trouble for saying that feminism is all rot and that it went off in the wrong direction.


Old English rotian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch rotten; the noun ( Middle English) may have come via Scandinavian.

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Word of the day retroflex
Pronunciation: ˈrɛtrə(ʊ)flɛks
turned backwards