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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

Examples from the Web for rotgut

Historical Examples

  • 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