dry rot

  1. Plant Pathology.

    • a decay of seasoned timber, resulting in its becoming brittle and crumbling to a dry powder, caused by various fungi.

    • any of various diseases of plants in which the rotted tissues are dry.

  2. any concealed or unsuspected inner decay.

Origin of dry rot

First recorded in 1785–95

Words Nearby dry rot

Other definitions for dry-rot (2 of 2)

[ drahy-rot ]

verb (used with or without object),dry-rot·ted, dry-rot·ting.
  1. to undergo or cause to undergo the action or effects of dry rot.

Origin of dry-rot

First recorded in 1865–70

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use dry rot in a sentence

  • A crust of conoidical shells covered the rock at certain points, the dry rot of the granite.

    Toilers of the Sea | Victor Hugo
  • The Spanish War had done more than give straps to a lot of civilians with pulls; it had eradicated the dry-rot from the Army.

  • It is infested by the dry rot, and ready to tumble about our ears without their immediate help.

  • I have what goes with all artist-matter—long periods of dry-rot when having nothing ripe to write I write nothing.

    I, Mary MacLane | Mary MacLane
  • Next to dry rot and vermin, a tenant with “a tongue” is the greatest enemy of the landlord of mean streets.

    The Law and the Poor | Edward Abbott Parry

British Dictionary definitions for dry rot

dry rot

  1. crumbling and drying of timber, bulbs, potatoes, or fruit, caused by saprotrophic basidiomycetous fungi

  2. any fungus causing this decay, esp of the genus Merulius

  1. moral degeneration or corrupt practices, esp when previously unsuspected

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