• (America) IPA: /ˈɹɑtn̩/, [ˈɹɑʔn̩]
  • (RP) IPA: /ˈɹɒtn̩/

rotten (comparative rottener, superlative rottenest)

  1. Of perishable items, overridden with bacteria and other infectious agents.
    If you leave a bin unattended for a few weeks, the rubbish inside will turn rotten.
    • 1596-99?, William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act I, scene iii:
      Antonio: Mark you this, Bassanio, / The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose. / An evil soul producing holy witness / Is like a villain with a smiling cheek, / A goodly apple rotten at the heart. / O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!
  2. In a state of decay.
    The floors were damaged and the walls were rotten.
    His mouth stank and his teeth were rotten.
  3. Cruel, mean or immoral.
    That man is a rotten father.
    This rotten policy will create more injustice in this country.
  4. Bad or terrible.
    Why is the weather always rotten in this city?
    It was a rotten idea to take the boat out today.
    She has the flu and feels rotten.
Translations Translations Adverb


  1. To an extreme degree.
    That kid is spoilt rotten.
    The girls fancy him something rotten.

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