Definition of rot in English:


Line breaks: rot
Pronunciation: /rɒt

verb (rots, rotting, rotted)

  • 2 [with object] British informal , • dated Make fun of; tease: has anybody been rotting you?


[mass noun] Back to top  
  • 1The process of decaying: the leaves were turning black with rot
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    • 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.
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    • 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 [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.
  • 1.3 (often the rot) Liver rot in sheep.
  • 2 (the rot) British A process of deterioration; a decline in standards: there is enough talent in the team to stop the rot
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    • 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, canker, cancer
  • 2.1US Corruption on the part of officials.
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    • He admitted yesterday he should have smelt the rot at the core of key planning decisions in the 1990s.


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

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