rotten borough

  1. (before the Reform Bill of 1832) any English borough that had very few voters yet was represented in Parliament.

  2. an election district that has more representatives in a legislative body than the number of its constituents would normally call for.

Origin of rotten borough

First recorded in 1805–15

Words Nearby rotten borough Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use rotten borough in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for rotten borough

rotten borough

  1. (before the Reform Act of 1832) any of certain English parliamentary constituencies with only a very few electors: Compare pocket borough

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