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rotten

[rot-n] /ˈrɒt n/
adjective, rottener, rottenest.
1.
decomposing or decaying; putrid; tainted, foul, or bad-smelling.
2.
corrupt or morally offensive.
3.
wretchedly bad, unpleasant, or unsatisfactory; miserable:
a rotten piece of work; a rotten day at the office.
4.
contemptible; despicable:
a rotten little liar; a rotten trick.
5.
(of soil, rocks, etc.) soft, yielding, or friable as the result of decomposition.
6.
Australian Slang. drunk.
Origin of rotten
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English roten < Old Norse rotinn, past participle of an unrecorded verb meaning “to rot”
Related forms
rottenly, adverb
rottenness, noun
half-rotten, adjective
unrotten, adjective
Synonyms
1. fetid, rank. 2. immoral. 4. disgusting, unwholesome; treacherous.
Antonyms
1. sound. 2. moral.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for rottenness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was cut-throat all the way througha policy that made for the rottenness of trade.

    The Wayfarers Mary Stewart Cutting
  • The earth is corrupt, science only serves to show its rottenness.

    Doctor Pascal Emile Zola
  • Out of the rottenness of these things, there has sprung up in Boston a sect of philosophers known as Transcendentalists.

  • One thing he teaches, that there is rottenness where he appears.

    Essays, First Series Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • In England, there is a good sound core, and seed that must always vegetate; here, all is rottenness.

  • What rottenness was within that gilded splendor by which she was surrounded!

    The Daltons, Volume II (of II) Charles James Lever
  • He enumerates evils which honeycombed society with rottenness then, and are rampant now.

  • What right have they to propagate the rottenness of their minds and bodies?

    The Crooked House Brandon Fleming
  • Jerry is an amusing philosopher, who could only have been developed in the rottenness of a decadence.

    The Chequers James Runciman
British Dictionary definitions for rottenness

rotten

/ˈrɒtən/
adjective
1.
affected with rot; decomposing, decaying, or putrid
2.
breaking up, esp through age or hard use; disintegrating: rotten ironwork
3.
morally despicable or corrupt
4.
untrustworthy, disloyal, or treacherous
5.
(informal) unpleasant, unfortunate, or nasty: rotten luck, rotten weather
6.
(informal) unsatisfactory or poor: rotten workmanship
7.
(informal) miserably unwell
8.
(informal) distressed, uncomfortable, and embarrassed: I felt rotten when I told him to go
9.
(of rocks, soils, etc) soft and crumbling, esp as a result of weathering
10.
(slang, mainly Austral & NZ) intoxicated; drunk
adverb (informal)
11.
extremely; very much: men fancy her rotten
Derived Forms
rottenly, adverb
rottenness, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old Norse rottin; related to Old English rotian to rot1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for rottenness
n.

late 14c., from rotten + -ness.

rotten

adj.

c.1300, from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse rotinn "decayed," past participle of verb related to rotna "to decay," from Proto-Germanic stem *rut- (see rot (v.)). Sense of "corrupt" is from late 14c.; weakened sense of "bad" first recorded 1881. Rotten apple is from a saying traced back to at least 1528: "For one rotten apple lytell and lytell putrifieth an whole heape." The Rotten Row in London and elsewhere probably is from a different word, but of uncertain origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for rottenness

rotten

adjective

Deplorable; nasty; inept and bungled: This is a rotten situation altogether (1880+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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10
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