Definition of rotten in US English:

rotten

adjective

  • 1Suffering from decay.

    ‘rotten eggs’
    ‘the supporting beams were rotten’
    • ‘There were a couple of trashcans along it, and they spewed nasty smelling piles of half rotten food, and junk.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘What I see is a whole lot of rotten tomatoes.’
    • ‘The foul stench of blood, mingled with that of rotten flesh, permeated the air.’
    • ‘I caught it too… a foul, noxious odor, the sulfur of rotten eggs, the reek of sewage and decay.’
    • ‘The forest floor often is covered with duff from rotten pine needles, logs, and leaves.’
    • ‘There was a peculiar smell in the air, one of rotten eggs or meat, the smell of sulfur.’
    • ‘They were utterly appalling with their rotten or missing teeth, tangled, matted hair, and yellowing scurvy eyes.’
    • ‘If that wasn't bad enough, it also smelled of putrid rotten eggs.’
    • ‘Robber fly adults lay eggs in the summer in soil or rotten wood.’
    • ‘People show up at your gigs armed with rotten fruit to throw at you.’
    • ‘A smell that resembled rotten eggs filled her nostrils.’
    • ‘With that Max rammed head first into the wall and the rotten wood began to splinter.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Professor John Marangos hurls still another batch of rotten tomatoes at the neoclassical approach to political economy.’
    • ‘Kernels are removed from the cob and mixed in a ratio of one-third clean, one-third spoiled, and one-third rotten.’
    • ‘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.’
    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
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Morally, socially, or politically corrupt.
      ‘he believed that the whole art business was 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.’
      • ‘She insists that the whole corporate system is rotten and even murkier crimes are committed in the financial world every day.’
      • ‘Nobody's evil here, except for a few rotten Templars intent on picking a fight.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘For them, the West was crass, materialistic and, of course, morally rotten.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He hardly had the outer appearance of a man who was rotten with evil on the inside.’
      • ‘I felt trapped within a stupid, rotten, dishonest system which brutalised people too naive to know any better, consumed our idealism.’
      • ‘Until we smash the whole rotten system, it will happen again and again.’
      • ‘Dirty rotten unionists will be revealed as the faceless powerbrokers of Labor.’
      • ‘"The state sector is rotten to the core, " says Wang.’
      • ‘Judging by recent films, things may not be quite rotten in Denmark, but Scandinavians seem no more immune to family horrors than we do.’
      • ‘The question may be asked whether there was something rotten in the state of France.’
      • ‘No one in this movie is inherently evil; they are products of a system that is rotten to the core.’
      • ‘Claudius, in a setting of mid-Victorian Gothic, was marked as the villain and focus of all that was rotten in Denmark.’
      • ‘But the problem for this Government is that it is rotten to the core.’
      corrupt, unprincipled, dishonest, dishonourable, unscrupulous, untrustworthy, immoral, villainous, bad, wicked, evil, sinful, iniquitous, vicious, base, amoral, debauched, degenerate, dissolute, dissipated, depraved, perverted, wanton
      nasty, unkind, unpleasant, foul, bad, obnoxious, vile, contemptible, despicable, wretched, shabby
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2informal Very bad.
      ‘she was a rotten cook’
      • ‘When you become pregnant, hopefully many years from now, you'll see just how rotten your mood can get.’
      • ‘In general, funds with poor long-term past performance tend to have rotten future performance.’
      • ‘You're absolutely, indisputably rotten to the bone!’
      • ‘Americans may remember auto manufacturer, which vanished from the U.S. market in 1987, for poor quality and rotten reliability.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘No chance - it's just really rotten luck,’ he said.’
      • ‘I am sick of my mom telling me how rotten I am and sick of the courts ordering me to places like this.’
      • ‘What begins with hope and freshness in each case quickly degenerates into something twisted and rotten.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The year after an election is often rotten for stocks.’
      • ‘If you only knew how many lousy meals and rotten movies he has dragged Diana to throughout the years.’
      • ‘There are plenty of rotten American films that had a great political impact.’
      • ‘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.’
      bad, poor, dreadful, awful, terrible, frightful, atrocious, hopeless, inadequate, inferior, unsatisfactory, laughable, substandard
      wretched, horrible, unspeakable
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    3. 1.3informal Extremely unpleasant.
      ‘it's rotten for you having to cope on your own’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Taking away days and weeks worth of effort in a single stroke is a lousy rotten thing to do to your patrons.’
      • ‘I can't wait to get out of this dirty, rotten place.’
      • ‘Well, of all the dirty, rotten, evil things for someone to do!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I didn't stop to think that I was being pretty rotten myself.’
      • ‘We're told that the folks from here are evil, but we never see them do anything very rotten.’
      • ‘That's one reason that I thought she'd had a rotten time at the social.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘What a fine mess that rotten cousin of yours has gotten her poor sister into!’
      unpleasant, disagreeable, miserable, awful, dreadful, terrible, frightful, bad, vile, grim, horrid, horrible, ghastly
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    4. 1.4informal predicative Unwell.
      ‘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
      View synonyms

adverb

informal
  • To an extreme degree; very much.

    ‘your mother said that I spoiled you rotten’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There he learns the true meaning of being spoiled rotten.’
    • ‘She was just spoilt rotten, and always got her way.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘At school, people practically fell over each other to date him, and where his parents were concerned, well, they just spoiled him rotten.’
    • ‘Easter was great and I spoiled Riley rotten by buying her lots of stuff.’
    • ‘The rich children were spoiled rotten, and lived in sharp contrast to the rich teenagers, who were all very good and very dull.’
    • ‘The last child is an eight-year-old girl and spoiled rotten.’
    • ‘His lips slid along her cheek to whisper into her ear, ‘Let me spoil you rotten today.’’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But Dash was the true love of her life and she spoilt him rotten.’
    • ‘You know that my mother spoils both my children 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.’
    • ‘His daughter starts off trying to kill Blade and ends up fancying him rotten.’
    • ‘Mothers were supposed to harass you until you had your own children, after which they spoiled your children rotten.’
    • ‘Bailey is pretty much our baby and we spoil her rotten.’
    • ‘She's also spoiled rotten because she's Mother's favorite, even though she's a year younger than I am.’
    • ‘The girls were all in high school and were spoiled rotten, always showing off their latest buys at the mall, totally obsessed with themselves.’
    very much, a lot, a great deal
    View synonyms

Origin

Middle English: from Old Norse rotinn.

Pronunciation

rotten

/ˈrɑtn//ˈrätn/