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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for rotter
Historical Examples
  • He was as little of a "poser" or of a "rotter" as he was of a prig, and there was not a drop of bad blood in his veins.

    A Letter Book George Saintsbury
  • He said it just like that,––as if being a rawncher was as easy as being a rotter.

  • Because I'm a rotter in one way, I'm not necessarily a rotter in all.

  • Verplank is a very good sort, whereas this Barouffski is a rotter.

    The Monster Edgar Saltus
  • "I don't see Hornblower's such a rotter," remarked the other man, whose name was James.

    The Longest Journey E. M. Forster
  • Forbes claimed to have seen Fred, and said he looked like a rotter.

    Kathleen Christopher Morley
  • Bobbie, you must realise now in your heart of hearts what a rotter she is?

    I'll Leave It To You Noel Coward
  • You were fine and dandy to me, and I am sorry I was such a rotter at first.

    The Lucky Seventh Ralph Henry Barbour
  • Here we have the rotter in the foreground, on which a merchant ship and a row-boat are seen.

  • 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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