• verb to decay or become putrefied because of bacterial or fungal action


  • Decay in wood caused by fungi and other microorganisms. Rot reduces the strength, hardness, and density of the wood.

Media Studies

Origin & History of “rot”

Rot goes back to a prehistoric Germanic *rutjan, which also produced Dutch rotten. It may be related ultimately to Latin rudis ‘rough’, source of English rude. The adjective rotten (13th c.) was borrowed from Old Norse rotinn, which came from the same Germanic stem as produced *rutjan. The mild imprecation drat (19th c.) is a conflation of God and rot.