See more synonyms for rusty on
adjective, rust·i·er, rust·i·est.
  1. covered with or affected by rust.
  2. consisting of or produced by rust.
  3. of or tending toward the color rust; rust-colored.
  4. faded or shabby; impaired by time or wear, as clothes or drapery.
  5. impaired through disuse or neglect: My Latin is rusty.
  6. having lost agility or alertness; out of practice: I am a bit rusty at tennis.
  7. (of a sound) grating or harsh.

Origin of rusty

before 900; Middle English rusti, Old English rūstig; see rust, -y1
Related formsrust·i·ly, adverbrust·i·ness, noun


adjective, rust·i·er, rust·i·est.
  1. restive; stubborn: a rusty horse.
  2. Chiefly Dialect. ill-tempered; cross.

Origin of rusty

1555–65; apparently special use of rusty1; but compare obsolete resty restive


  1. a male or female given name. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Contemporary Examples of rusty

Historical Examples of rusty

British Dictionary definitions for rusty


adjective rustier or rustiest
  1. covered with, affected by, or consisting of rusta rusty machine; a rusty deposit
  2. of the colour rust
  3. discoloured by agea rusty coat
  4. (of the voice) tending to croak
  5. old-fashioned in appearance; seemingly antiquateda rusty old gentleman
  6. out of practice; impaired in skill or knowledge by inaction or neglect
  7. (of plants) affected by the rust fungus
Derived Formsrustily, adverbrustiness, noun
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 rusty

Old English rustig; see rust (n.) + -y (2). Cognate with Frisian roastich, Middle Dutch roestich, Dutch roestig, Old High German rostag, German rostig. "In the 16th and 17th centuries frequently used as a term of general disparagement" [OED]. Of bodily skills, "impaired by neglect," from c.1500; of mental qualities, accomplishments, etc., first attested 1796.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper