Definition of rust in US English:



  • 1A reddish- or yellowish-brown flaky coating of iron oxide that is formed on iron or steel by oxidation, especially in the presence of moisture.

    • ‘A big seller was stove black, used to cover up scrapes and rust on cast-iron furnaces.’
    • ‘Although steel does run the risk of rust, many improvements in recent years by the steel industry have improved the quality of these trailers.’
    • ‘All steel used in the kitchen is rust free and must be imported.’
    • ‘Unfortunately the harsh upstate NY winters aren't kind to cars and rust took the Trans Am from us.’
    • ‘It could, for example, be used on rails in rural areas, which often get coated with a film of rust when not used at weekends.’
    • ‘If you notice rust, remove it with a steel brush and steel wool.’
    • ‘The presence of rust and corrosion indicates possible moisture invasion and a potential electrical hazard.’
    • ‘He checked some large iron doors that were flaked with rust and finally found one that was unlocked.’
    • ‘But don't use this technique at the car dealership or you'll end up with a thousand bucks' worth of rust coating.’
    • ‘Its anti-oxidation, moisture-displacing agent protects against rust, pitting and corrosion.’
    • ‘The Juliana bases are constructed of a galvanized steel to resist rust and decay.’
    • ‘Many of the works are, as usual, rich in flaking patches of rust, but, in a departure for the artist, several are also highly polished.’
    • ‘You can remove the firebox covers and check inside the firebox for rust and scale deposits.’
    • ‘His mediums include real rust, iron and aluminum powders, patinas, raw pigment and rich dyes.’
    • ‘A blackened heap of rust and iron, the old stove sat in the corner of the living room.’
    • ‘A local firm donated scrap metal for the tubular steel members which were sanded to remove rust and painted black.’
    • ‘It has been my experience, and sometimes misfortune, that rubber grips attract and hold moisture underneath, promoting rust.’
    • ‘Some of the pieces were raw iron spattered with rust from being left open to the elements.’
    • ‘The whole structure was over 100 years old and the walls were stained with yellowish rust.’
    • ‘Though rust and flaking paint may add patina, such pieces should be kept outdoors.’
    discoloration, oxidation, rust, tarnishing, blackening, film, patina
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    1. 1.1 A state of deterioration or disrepair resulting from neglect or lack of use.
      ‘they are here to scrape the rust off the derelict machinery of government’
      • ‘Plus, in his second week back from injury, RB Marshall Faulk will have worked the rust off.’
      • ‘Since returning to full health, Hermanson hasn't been able to get into a rhythm and shake off the rust.’
      • ‘It may take him a couple of games to shake off the rust.’
      • ‘Instead of a stimulating and stirring speech to shake the masses and rattle the rust off of a stagnant program, Weis took the program a few more steps back.’
      • ‘As the rust from a long layoff disappeared, Szott became a more effective player each week in 2001.’
      • ‘While he scraped off the rust from inactivity, the Mavericks were losing eight of the first nine games Trent played.’
      • ‘Szott finally is shaking off the rust and is playing very effectively.’
      • ‘By Week Three when the rust has worn off the NFL teams, we can finally begin to see some trends.’
      • ‘McNabb should be able to shake the rust quickly, and his leadership will be key.’
      • ‘At that time, he was, in essence, scrubbing away the rust of two years of injuries and frustration.’
      • ‘At the Tour Championship at East Lake, Atlanta, it took Woods one competitive round, a lacklustre 72, to scrape off the rust.’
      • ‘Bronson flies to the ball and makes the plays the team needs on third downs, but there's no telling how easily he'll shake off the rust.’
      • ‘As I dusted off the rust on my first few passes, I realized just how painful life can be in the CQ environment.’
      • ‘Iverson and McKie will return early, but they'll have to shake off the rust.’
      • ‘This was a scrappy match and the rust on many players after the winter break was plain to see in the many elementary mistakes made by both sides.’
      • ‘All of those returning from injury have had enough playing time to knock off the rust and get acquainted with their teammates.’
      • ‘But Farris seems to have shaken off the rust of inactivity and may play a key role on the offense.’
      • ‘It's the most powerful tool of all, this thing we call memory, and the one I'm most determined never to give over to the rust.’
      • ‘What they didn't account for was that the Flames were shaking off the rust of the longer layoff before the finals.’
      • ‘The Buckeyes won't have an answer for D.J. White as he continues to shake off the rust and improve with each and every game.’
  • 2usually with adjective or noun modifier A fungal disease of plants which results in reddish or brownish patches.

    The fungi belong to Puccinia and other genera, order Uredinales, class Teliomycetes

    • ‘Leaf rust and stem rust can be serious problems in irrigated winter wheat.’
    • ‘Common rust is present at levels you only see every five years in a wide swath of east and central Nebraska.’
    • ‘Stripe rust and leaf rust continue to develop in the southern plains.’
    • ‘The cool wet weather has slowed disease spread, as well as spraying activity, with yellow rust making little progress.’
    • ‘Many rust diseases are very specialized and have just one or two hosts.’
  • 3A reddish-brown color.

    in combination ‘his rust-colored hair’
    • ‘The fabrics he used were predominantly tweeds and wools in countryside colours: moss green, rust brown and autumnal red.’
    • ‘Under that scale, brown is measured as dark grey, whereas shades of rust and buff are lighter grey.’
    • ‘Copper and cadmium yellow and rust and persimmon and vermillion - what a swoon of color.’
    • ‘They quickly pass from pink to crimson to the rust colour we know well.’
    • ‘Watch your use of pink, yellow, peach, rust, purple, violet or gold.’
    • ‘Earthy tones such as rust, brown, beige, khaki, and tan are not only the coziest colors you can decorate your apartment in, but they're also in style right now.’
    • ‘Each leaf has started to emit the presence of the deeper shades of red, golden browns and rust, having been hidden for the summer thus far.’
    • ‘It was hot, there was a warm gentle breeze and the ground was a deep rust red.’
    • ‘Melissa Greene was working with cream, green and rust coloured material and she thinks that school is fun.’
    • ‘The turbulent gray and rust coloured swirls of gas are truly awesome.’
    • ‘Organic and earthy colours dominate with burnt orange, rust, sky blue and many shades of green.’
    • ‘Corduroys come in shades of rust, sand, bottle-green, caramel and plum.’
    • ‘Lots of rust brown backgrounds with random objects strewn across it.’
    • ‘The woods of rural Ohio are bursting with autumnal hues of rust.’
    • ‘Whether or not your opting for patterns, delve into colors like mauve, burgundy, yellow, rust, light blue, or even salmon.’
    • ‘She's wearing a red jacket, pink blouse with gold broach, rust coloured dress and shoes, large camel coloured coat and brief case.’
    • ‘Or how about cracking open a crab and stuffing its white and rust coloured meat into a baguette with watercress, mustard and cress and lamb lettuce and dressed with lime juice.’
    • ‘There are so many variations on red and brown and russet and gold and rust and orange and chestnut and tan… no wonder we have so many different names for colors!’
    • ‘The surrounding land is mostly chalk white, splotched with yellow, rust and grey.’
    • ‘Her crimson locks burn in the sun as she frantically darts in and out of streets that are lined with crisp amber and rust coloured leaves.’
    bronze-coloured, copper-coloured, copper, reddish-brown, chestnut, metallic brown, rust-coloured, rust, henna, tan
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[no object]
  • 1Be affected with rust.

    ‘the blades had rusted away’
    ‘rusting machinery’
    • ‘His faith lies abandoned by the roadside, forgotten and rusting like an old plough.’
    • ‘At least that makes a difference from watching your car rust away over a period of time.’
    • ‘Without the right protection, the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz would have rusted away.’
    • ‘Unfortunately the screw and nut I needed to remove had rusted together.’
    • ‘The source of the oil is unknown and is thought to have possibly sprung from an old wreck lying on the seabed which has rusted away.’
    • ‘Brambles covered the cow shed, old machinery rusted in the yard and the windows became cracked and cobwebbed.’
    • ‘The vessels are rusting in St Petersburg's harbour as the dispute over their ownership rages on.’
    • ‘I prefer plastic ends to metal though, as the metal ones tend to rust if they get damp.’
    • ‘The cotton factory that once employed hundreds of workers closed years ago and lies abandoned with disused machinery rusting outside.’
    • ‘Dull, grimy and rusted, the traffic signals of Chennai don't get even wiped at periodic intervals!’
    • ‘These steels do not rust and strongly resist attack by a great many liquids, gases, and chemicals.’
    • ‘The bike was in one piece, although badly repainted and rusting pretty much everywhere.’
    • ‘All vehicles in the town had to stay there until they rusted away.’
    • ‘Built at the end of World War II, the materials weren't the best quality and have rusted badly.’
    • ‘At the end of the Cold War, Russia was left with nearly 200 nuclear submarines rusting at the dockside.’
    • ‘This seals the wood surface under the putty and prevents the metal frame from rusting.’
    • ‘The car had a smashed rear window on the driver's side and was rusting along the bottom of the rear wheel arches.’
    • ‘Gold was valued from ancient times because it did not tarnish or rust like other metals.’
    • ‘These are rusting away for the sake of a lick of paint.’
    • ‘Since steel parts rust, manufacturers have recently switched to aluminum frames for these enclosures.’
    corrode, oxidize, become rusty, tarnish
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    1. 1.1 Deteriorate through neglect or lack of use.
      • ‘Today his image is rusted over by a perceived lack of commitment to football and a lust for fame and fortune.’
      • ‘Or do regions need rusting industries and plucky northern grit?’
      • ‘There are too many examples of failed projects and rusting infrastructure to hide the fact that in the past and perhaps still in the present, the development sector is still not getting it right.’


Old English rūst, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch roest, German Rost, also to red.