View synonyms for rotten


[ rot-n ]


, rot·ten·er, rot·ten·est.
  1. decomposing or decaying; putrid; tainted, foul, or bad-smelling.

    Synonyms: rank, fetid

    Antonyms: sound

  2. corrupt or morally offensive.

    Synonyms: immoral

    Antonyms: moral

  3. wretchedly bad, unpleasant, or unsatisfactory; miserable:

    a rotten piece of work; a rotten day at the office.

  4. contemptible; despicable:

    a rotten little liar; a rotten trick.

    Synonyms: treacherous, unwholesome, disgusting

  5. (of soil, rocks, etc.) soft, yielding, or friable as the result of decomposition.
  6. Australian Slang. drunk.


/ ˈrɒtən /


  1. affected with rot; decomposing, decaying, or putrid
  2. breaking up, esp through age or hard use; disintegrating

    rotten ironwork

  3. morally despicable or corrupt
  4. untrustworthy, disloyal, or treacherous
  5. informal.
    unpleasant, unfortunate, or nasty

    rotten luck

    rotten weather

  6. informal.
    unsatisfactory or poor

    rotten workmanship

  7. informal.
    miserably unwell
  8. informal.
    distressed, uncomfortable, and embarrassed

    I felt rotten when I told him to go

  9. (of rocks, soils, etc) soft and crumbling, esp as a result of weathering
  10. slang.
    intoxicated; drunk


  1. extremely; very much

    men fancy her rotten

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Derived Forms

  • ˈrottenness, noun
  • ˈrottenly, adverb

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Other Words From

  • rotten·ly adverb
  • rotten·ness noun
  • half-rotten adjective
  • un·rotten adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of rotten1

1175–1225; Middle English roten < Old Norse rotinn, past participle of an unrecorded verb meaning “to rot”

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Word History and Origins

Origin of rotten1

C13: from Old Norse rottin ; related to Old English rotian to rot 1

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Example Sentences

Nonetheless, Win at All Costs often feels less like an exposé than an attempt to fuse previously published reporting into a macro-narrative about how there’s something rotten in the state of Beaverton.

At Bumpass Hell in California’s Lassen Volcanic National Park, the ground is literally boiling, and the aroma of rotten eggs fills the air.

They let our ancestors “sniff out rotten food or potential poisons,” she explains.

THL is not just a single bad apple but part of an expansive industry that’s rotten to its core.

From Fortune

Reports out of Los Angeles indicate mail delays have led to rotten food and even dead animals.

We are a nation in which a few rotten apples are spoiling different barrels.

It has grown from a rotten root—striving to replace human judgment with detailed dictates.

Which to me, after the initial explosion of the Sex Pistols, always made Rotten kind of boring.

“I believe we are in the hour of the debacle of the institutions, they cannot be any more rotten,” said Padre Goyo.

Yeonmi had been hospitalized at the time for a stomach illness, likely from her diet of rotten potatoes.

But this alliance is rotten, and cannot endure; the Western men are no partizans of slavery.

Sounds rotten, but that's their style; and you've been through the mill at home enough to know what it is to be knifed socially.

Clodd tells us that one cubic inch of rotten stone contains 41 thousand million vegetable skeletons of diatoms.

It is like the eating of a smothered fire into rotten timber in that it is noiseless and without haste.

That we should attack one week and the French another week is rotten tactically; but, practically, we have no option.





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