Definition of red rot in US English:

red rot


  • 1English regional (originally northern). The plant sundew, Drosera rotundifolia (formerly believed to cause liver rot in sheep). Compare "rot-grass". Now historical.

  • 2Any of various plant diseases characterized by reddish discoloration of the tissues, especially of the stem; (in later use) especially a disease of sugar cane caused by the fungus Glomerella tucumanensis.

  • 3Fungal decay of trees or timber, especially softwoods, in which there is reddish discoloration of the wood, particularly in the early stages; an instance of this.

  • 4A form of deterioration of leather, especially leather bookbindings, in which the surface disintegrates into a reddish powder.


Late 16th century; earliest use found in John Gerard (c1545–1612), herbalist. From red + rot.


red rot

/ˌrɛd ˈrɒt/