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See more synonyms for rotter on Thesaurus.com
noun Chiefly British Slang.
  1. a thoroughly bad, worthless, or objectionable person.
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Origin of rotter

First recorded in 1890–95; rot + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for rotter

Historical Examples

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

    The Eldest Son (Second Series Plays)

    John Galsworthy

  • 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


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


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper