Definition of rotten in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈrätn/

adjective (rottener, rottenest)

1Suffering from decay: rotten eggs the supporting beams were rotten
More example sentences
  • If that wasn't bad enough, it also smelled of putrid rotten eggs.
  • I caught it too… a foul, noxious odor, the sulfur of rotten eggs, the reek of sewage and decay.
  • Pools of boiling hot mud - filling the air with the smell of sulfur, similar to rotten eggs - are seen not far from the island's beautiful beaches.
decaying, rotting, bad, off, far gone, decomposing, putrid, putrescent, perished, moldy, moldering, mildewy, rancid, festering, fetid;
maggoty, wormy
decaying, decayed, carious, black;
disintegrating, crumbling
1.1Morally, socially, or politically corrupt: he believed that the whole art business was rotten
More example sentences
  • For them, the West was crass, materialistic and, of course, morally rotten.
  • His book was one of the first to lay down just how rotten and corrupt the Florida election was.
  • Few raise their voices to remember the thousands who suffered at the hands of the morally rotten medics who worked for the Imperial Army war effort.
corrupt, unprincipled, dishonest, dishonorable, unscrupulous, untrustworthy, immoral;
villainous, bad, wicked, evil, iniquitous, venal
informal crooked
nasty, unkind, unpleasant, obnoxious, vile, contemptible, despicable, shabby, loathsome;
spiteful, mean, low, malicious, hateful, hurtful;
unfair, uncharitable, uncalled for
informal dirty, lowdown
1.2 informal Very bad: she was a rotten cook
More example sentences
  • Americans may remember auto manufacturer, which vanished from the U.S. market in 1987, for poor quality and rotten reliability.
  • If you only knew how many lousy meals and rotten movies he has dragged Diana to throughout the years.
  • In general, funds with poor long-term past performance tend to have rotten future performance.
bad, poor, dreadful, awful, terrible, frightful, atrocious, hopeless, inadequate, inferior, substandard
informal crummy, pathetic, useless, lousy, appalling, abysmal
1.3 informal Extremely unpleasant: it’s rotten for you having to cope on your own
More example sentences
  • I can't wait to get out of this dirty, rotten place.
  • He reeked and tears filled her eyes from a mix of his rotten smell and the pain his dirty fingernails were causing as they dug into her cheek.
  • That's one reason that I thought she'd had a rotten time at the social.
unpleasant, miserable, awful, dreadful, terrible, frightful, bad, horrible;
disappointing, regrettable
informal crummy, lousy
1.4 [predicative] informal Unwell: she tried to tell me she felt rotten
More example sentences
  • I feel ready, but I was pretty nervous yesterday after feeling so rotten.
  • She's feeling rotten from the anaesthetic but otherwise she is fine.


To an extreme degree; very much: your mother said that I spoiled you rotten
More example sentences
  • He is a decent, dull-faced fellow who appears completely normal, which is more than can be said for the local copper, who fancies Rachel rotten.
  • You know that my mother spoils both my children rotten.
  • Mothers were supposed to harass you until you had your own children, after which they spoiled your children rotten.



Pronunciation: /ˈrätnlē/
Example sentences
  • ‘The workers have done everything for the company but we've been treated rottenly,’ said the father of two.
  • Regardless of good or bad actions, the males come out of the story rottenly, whereas the females end happily.
  • Giving his description of the game, he said ‘Young Norman Brookes has a rottenly brilliant game’.


Pronunciation: /ˈrätnˌnəs/
Example sentences
  • He has a long background of becoming persona non grata in places where he has struggled against what he considers to be endemic rottenness in society.
  • But the actual reason Eastern spices were so much valued for so long was that their hot flavours concealed the taste of rottenness in the meat they were cooked with.
  • It merely exposed the rottenness and the hypocrisy of the establishment he hated anyway.


Middle English: from Old Norse rotinn.

Words that rhyme with rotten

begotten, cotton, forgotten, ill-gotten, misbegotten

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: rot·ten

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