Definition of rotten in English:



  • 1Suffering from decay.

    ‘rotten eggs’
    ‘the supporting beams were rotten’
    • ‘The fallen tree had been moldy and rotten, the smell strong and unpleasant enough to deter most burrowing animals that would normally have occupied the space.’
    • ‘Anne cannot sleep because of the air raids, and they are eating terribly-dry bread and ersatz coffee for breakfast, spinach and rotten potatoes for dinner.’
    • ‘A smell that resembled rotten eggs filled her nostrils.’
    • ‘If that wasn't bad enough, it also smelled of putrid rotten eggs.’
    • ‘They were utterly appalling with their rotten or missing teeth, tangled, matted hair, and yellowing scurvy eyes.’
    • ‘There were a couple of trashcans along it, and they spewed nasty smelling piles of half rotten food, and junk.’
    • ‘Most of the people who passed her during the daytime would either spit at her or come along and pelt the door with rotten vegetable and eggs for their own amusement.’
    • ‘The forest floor often is covered with duff from rotten pine needles, logs, and leaves.’
    • ‘Kernels are removed from the cob and mixed in a ratio of one-third clean, one-third spoiled, and one-third rotten.’
    • ‘Professor John Marangos hurls still another batch of rotten tomatoes at the neoclassical approach to political economy.’
    • ‘With that Max rammed head first into the wall and the rotten wood began to splinter.’
    • ‘Robber fly adults lay eggs in the summer in soil or rotten wood.’
    • ‘I caught it too… a foul, noxious odor, the sulfur of rotten eggs, the reek of sewage and decay.’
    • ‘The air was green with the stench of fetid and rotten flesh.’
    • ‘Pools of boiling hot mud - filling the air with the smell of sulfur, similar to rotten eggs - are seen not far from the island's beautiful beaches.’
    • ‘What I see is a whole lot of rotten tomatoes.’
    • ‘There were about ten of them, varying in age and height, but all with the same dark eyes and dirty faces, rotten teeth and tearful, pleading voices.’
    • ‘The foul stench of blood, mingled with that of rotten flesh, permeated the air.’
    • ‘People show up at your gigs armed with rotten fruit to throw at you.’
    • ‘There was a peculiar smell in the air, one of rotten eggs or meat, the smell of sulfur.’
    decaying, decayed, rotting, bad, off, decomposed, decomposing, putrid, putrescent, spoiled, spoilt, tainted, perished, mouldy, mouldering, mildewy, sour, rancid, rank, festering, fetid, stinking, smelly, unfit for human consumption
    disintegrating, crumbling, falling to pieces, decomposing, decaying
    decaying, decayed, crumbling, carious, black
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    1. 1.1Morally, socially, or politically corrupt.
      ‘he believed that the whole art business was rotten’
      • ‘Judging by recent films, things may not be quite rotten in Denmark, but Scandinavians seem no more immune to family horrors than we do.’
      • ‘But the problem for this Government is that it is rotten to the core.’
      • ‘Nobody's evil here, except for a few rotten Templars intent on picking a fight.’
      • ‘If political stability could be achieved by toppling a rotten dictator or if nations could be built at gunpoint, this problem would not be so pressing.’
      • ‘Dirty rotten unionists will be revealed as the faceless powerbrokers of Labor.’
      • ‘No one in this movie is inherently evil; they are products of a system that is rotten to the core.’
      • ‘She insists that the whole corporate system is rotten and even murkier crimes are committed in the financial world every day.’
      • ‘The question may be asked whether there was something rotten in the state of France.’
      • ‘For them, the West was crass, materialistic and, of course, morally rotten.’
      • ‘Few raise their voices to remember the thousands who suffered at the hands of the morally rotten medics who worked for the Imperial Army war effort.’
      • ‘I felt trapped within a stupid, rotten, dishonest system which brutalised people too naive to know any better, consumed our idealism.’
      • ‘The loyalist public relations battle had been well and truly lost and it was left to the politicians to try once again to paper over something most rotten.’
      • ‘"The state sector is rotten to the core, " says Wang.’
      • ‘His book was one of the first to lay down just how rotten and corrupt the Florida election was.’
      • ‘Sometimes, you get the feeling that the industry knows that something is rotten at its heart, but doesn't really want to let on.’
      • ‘It's a sharp economic slowdown caused by a mood of irrational despair fed by press and political hype about what's rotten in American capitalism.’
      • ‘Until we smash the whole rotten system, it will happen again and again.’
      • ‘He hardly had the outer appearance of a man who was rotten with evil on the inside.’
      • ‘Claudius, in a setting of mid-Victorian Gothic, was marked as the villain and focus of all that was rotten in Denmark.’
      nasty, unkind, unpleasant, foul, bad, obnoxious, vile, contemptible, despicable, wretched, shabby
      corrupt, unprincipled, dishonest, dishonourable, unscrupulous, untrustworthy, immoral, villainous, bad, wicked, evil, sinful, iniquitous, vicious, base, amoral, debauched, degenerate, dissolute, dissipated, depraved, perverted, wanton
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  • 2informal Very bad.

    ‘she was a rotten cook’
    • ‘Frankly, the worst thing about choruses is that they have absolutely rotten senses of humour.’
    • ‘Mary might have been an extremely intelligent woman but she had rotten judgment in men.’
    • ‘If I harp on how rotten the production is, it's because I have few qualms with the music, outside of the first track, which is just aimless.’
    • ‘What begins with hope and freshness in each case quickly degenerates into something twisted and rotten.’
    • ‘The year after an election is often rotten for stocks.’
    • ‘I am sick of my mom telling me how rotten I am and sick of the courts ordering me to places like this.’
    • ‘In general, funds with poor long-term past performance tend to have rotten future performance.’
    • ‘There are plenty of rotten American films that had a great political impact.’
    • ‘There was the curious fact that whereas Hitler began as a competent strategist and ended as a rotten one, with Stalin it was the other way round.’
    • ‘‘No chance - it's just really rotten luck,’ he said.’
    • ‘You're absolutely, indisputably rotten to the bone!’
    • ‘When you become pregnant, hopefully many years from now, you'll see just how rotten your mood can get.’
    • ‘Americans may remember auto manufacturer, which vanished from the U.S. market in 1987, for poor quality and rotten reliability.’
    • ‘If you only knew how many lousy meals and rotten movies he has dragged Diana to throughout the years.’
    bad, poor, dreadful, awful, terrible, frightful, atrocious, hopeless, inadequate, inferior, unsatisfactory, laughable, substandard
    wretched, horrible, unspeakable
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    1. 2.1Extremely unpleasant.
      ‘it's rotten for you having to cope on your own’
      • ‘What a fine mess that rotten cousin of yours has gotten her poor sister into!’
      • ‘I can't wait to get out of this dirty, rotten place.’
      • ‘I didn't stop to think that I was being pretty rotten myself.’
      • ‘That's one reason that I thought she'd had a rotten time at the social.’
      • ‘Toward the end of the film, one of our villains does something very rotten, and Green takes action that indirectly leads to this person's demise.’
      • ‘We're told that the folks from here are evil, but we never see them do anything very rotten.’
      • ‘Taking away days and weeks worth of effort in a single stroke is a lousy rotten thing to do to your patrons.’
      • ‘No matter how rotten the day had been or how lonely his life had become, she ignited a spark inside him that he'd considered dead and buried.’
      • ‘Well, of all the dirty, rotten, evil things for someone to do!’
      • ‘He reeked and tears filled her eyes from a mix of his rotten smell and the pain his dirty fingernails were causing as they dug into her cheek.’
      unpleasant, disagreeable, miserable, awful, dreadful, terrible, frightful, bad, vile, grim, horrid, horrible, ghastly
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    2. 2.2Unwell.
      ‘she tried to tell me she felt rotten’
      • ‘She's feeling rotten from the anaesthetic but otherwise she is fine.’
      • ‘I feel ready, but I was pretty nervous yesterday after feeling so rotten.’
      ill, unwell, poorly, bad, out of sorts, indisposed, not oneself, sick, queasy, nauseous, nauseated, peaky, liverish, green about the gills, run down, washed out, faint, dizzy, giddy, light-headed
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  • To an extreme degree; very much.

    ‘your mother said that I spoiled you rotten’
    ‘we used to send him up something rotten’
    • ‘Easter was great and I spoiled Riley rotten by buying her lots of stuff.’
    • ‘He is a decent, dull-faced fellow who appears completely normal, which is more than can be said for the local copper, who fancies Rachel rotten.’
    • ‘Henriette grew to rival her mother's beauty, but was eventually spoiled quite rotten by the fact that she was the only girl in the family.’
    • ‘The next day, I moved in with my grandparents, who lived on the north side of Metrocon, and I guess to help me heal, they spoiled me rotten.’
    • ‘But Dash was the true love of her life and she spoilt him rotten.’
    • ‘At school, people practically fell over each other to date him, and where his parents were concerned, well, they just spoiled him rotten.’
    • ‘There he learns the true meaning of being spoiled rotten.’
    • ‘The girls were all in high school and were spoiled rotten, always showing off their latest buys at the mall, totally obsessed with themselves.’
    • ‘She was just spoilt rotten, and always got her way.’
    • ‘The rich children were spoiled rotten, and lived in sharp contrast to the rich teenagers, who were all very good and very dull.’
    • ‘He adored Rebecca more than anything else on the planet, and proved that continuously by spoiling her rotten and buying her whatever her heart desired.’
    • ‘It was times like these when he wished he had had a sister growing up so he could spoil her rotten and always have someone to be close to.’
    • ‘She's also spoiled rotten because she's Mother's favorite, even though she's a year younger than I am.’
    • ‘Mothers were supposed to harass you until you had your own children, after which they spoiled your children rotten.’
    • ‘You know that my mother spoils both my children rotten.’
    • ‘His daughter starts off trying to kill Blade and ends up fancying him rotten.’
    • ‘His lips slid along her cheek to whisper into her ear, ‘Let me spoil you rotten today.’’
    • ‘Bailey is pretty much our baby and we spoil her rotten.’
    • ‘I wish her to leave here and find her own happiness, a life where a person would treasure her and make her the luckiest person in the world for the rest of her life and spoil her rotten.’
    • ‘The last child is an eight-year-old girl and spoiled rotten.’
    very much, a lot, a great deal
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Middle English: from Old Norse rotinn.