verb (used with object), ret·ted, ret·ting.
Origin of ret
Examples from the Web for retting
The fibre is separated from the stalks by a process of retting similar to that for flax and hemp.
Breaking means removing the dry wood portion which has been decomposed by the retting.
After the first few days of immersion the stalks are examined daily to test the progress of the retting.
Retting, ret′ing, n. the act or process of preparing flax for use by rotting the useless part of the plant.
After retting, the flax is spread to dry in the fields and is then ready for the next process, called breaking.
British Dictionary definitions for retting
verb rets, retting or retted
Word Origin for ret
Word Origin and History for retting
"to soak stems of fibrous plants (flax, hemp, jute, etc.) to soften them," mid-15c., probably from Middle Dutch roten (or an unrecorded cognate Old Norse word that is related to Norwegian røyta, Swedish röta, Danish røde); considered to be related to Old English rotian "to rot" (see rot (v.)), but the vowel is difficult.