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noun Slang.
  1. cheap and inferior liquor.
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Origin of rotgut

First recorded in 1590–1600; rot + gut
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for rotgut

drink, alcohol, liquor, Scotch, distillery, bourbon, smoke, booze, methanol, ethanol, bootleg, firewater, hooch, rotgut, moonshine, distiller, corn, rye, poteen, moonshiner

Examples from the Web for rotgut

Historical Examples of rotgut

  • It must be the rotgut from l'Assommoir that was hacking away inside him.


    Emile Zola

  • Men always say a whole lot when theyre full of rotgut, unless they get nasty.

    The Plunderer

    Roy Norton

  • "That's all that rotgut's good for," the customer said, jumping over the counter.


    Henry Beam Piper and John Joseph McGuire

  • Now he was the official distiller, and the rotgut he produced was the only thing that made existence bearable.

    The Colonists

    Raymond F. Jones

  • I'd sooner have had a pint of old Stringybark, too, than a bucketful of their rotgut liquors.

British Dictionary definitions for rotgut


  1. facetious, slang alcoholic drink, esp spirits, of inferior quality
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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

Word Origin and History for rotgut


also rot-gut, "unwholesome liquor," 1630s, from rot (v.) + gut (n.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper