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[rot-er] /ˈrɒt ər/
noun, Chiefly British Slang.
a thoroughly bad, worthless, or objectionable person.
Origin of rotter
First recorded in 1890-95; rot + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for rotter
Historical Examples
  • Because I'm a rotter in one way, I'm not necessarily a rotter in all.

  • He said it just like that,––as if being a rawncher was as easy as being a rotter.

  • The fellow was a rotter—he was sure of it, had always been sure.

    Beyond John Galsworthy
  • We called him a swine, a rotter, a skunk, and an absolute cad.

    The Blower of Bubbles Arthur Beverley Baxter
  • Verplank is a very good sort, whereas this Barouffski is a rotter.

    The Monster

    Edgar Saltus
  • Forbes claimed to have seen Fred, and said he looked like a rotter.

    Kathleen Christopher Morley
  • So this rotter, instead of shifting off, proceeded to cut the fence, and go through that way.

    Mike P. G. Wodehouse
  • You were fine and dandy to me, and I am sorry I was such a rotter at first.

    The Lucky Seventh Ralph Henry Barbour
  • "I have been a rotter, Wilson," he said and held out his hand.

    A Yankee Flier with the R.A.F. Rutherford G. Montgomery
  • He thought I was a rotter, and didn't mind my knowing his opinion.

    Vision House C. N. Williamson
British Dictionary definitions for rotter


(slang, mainly Brit) a worthless, unpleasant, or despicable person
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for rotter

"person deemed objectionable on moral grounds," 1889, slang, from rot + -er (3).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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