noun Chiefly British Slang.

a thoroughly bad, worthless, or objectionable person.

Origin of rotter

First recorded in 1890–95; rot + -er1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for rotter

bounder, boor, rake, rascal, dog, louse, rat, lout, creep, scoundrel, clown, heel, cur, stinker, rotter, worm

Examples from the Web for rotter

Historical Examples of rotter

  • Because I'm a rotter in one way, I'm not necessarily a rotter in all.

  • He said it just like that,––as if being a rawncher was as easy as being a rotter.

  • The fellow was a rotter—he was sure of it, had always been sure.


    John Galsworthy

  • We called him a swine, a rotter, a skunk, and an absolute cad.

    The Blower of Bubbles

    Arthur Beverley Baxter

  • Verplank is a very good sort, whereas this Barouffski is a rotter.

    The Monster

    Edgar Saltus

British Dictionary definitions for rotter



slang, mainly British a worthless, unpleasant, or despicable person
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 rotter

"person deemed objectionable on moral grounds," 1889, slang, from rot + -er (3).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper