- decomposing or decaying; putrid; tainted, foul, or bad-smelling.
- corrupt or morally offensive.
- wretchedly bad, unpleasant, or unsatisfactory; miserable: a rotten piece of work; a rotten day at the office.
- contemptible; despicable: a rotten little liar; a rotten trick.
- (of soil, rocks, etc.) soft, yielding, or friable as the result of decomposition.
- Australian Slang. drunk.
Origin of rotten
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for rottenness
But each and every one of them has personal experience of the rottenness of the system.The Protests in Moscow Will Not Spark a Russian Spring
December 14, 2011
The earth is corrupt, science only serves to show its rottenness.Doctor Pascal
One thing he teaches, that there is rottenness where he appears.Essays, First Series
Ralph Waldo Emerson
What rottenness was within that gilded splendor by which she was surrounded!The Daltons, Volume II (of II)
Charles James Lever
What right have they to propagate the rottenness of their minds and bodies?The Crooked House
Only the rottenness in him hasn't broke out because of the weed.The Heart of Unaga
- affected with rot; decomposing, decaying, or putrid
- breaking up, esp through age or hard use; disintegratingrotten ironwork
- morally despicable or corrupt
- untrustworthy, disloyal, or treacherous
- informal unpleasant, unfortunate, or nastyrotten luck; rotten weather
- informal unsatisfactory or poorrotten workmanship
- informal miserably unwell
- informal distressed, uncomfortable, and embarrassedI felt rotten when I told him to go
- (of rocks, soils, etc) soft and crumbling, esp as a result of weathering
- slang, mainly Australian and NZ intoxicated; drunk
- extremely; very muchmen fancy her rotten
Word Origin and History for rottenness
c.1300, from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse rotinn "decayed," past participle of verb related to rotna "to decay," from Proto-Germanic stem *rut- (see rot (v.)). Sense of "corrupt" is from late 14c.; weakened sense of "bad" first recorded 1881. Rotten apple is from a saying traced back to at least 1528: "For one rotten apple lytell and lytell putrifieth an whole heape." The Rotten Row in London and elsewhere probably is from a different word, but of uncertain origin.