adj. rot·ten·er, rot·ten·est
1. Being in a state of putrefaction or decay; decomposed.
2. Having a foul odor resulting from or suggestive of decay; putrid.
3. Made weak or unsound by rot: rotten floorboards.
4. Morally corrupt or despicable: She's rotten to the core.
5. Very bad; wretched: rotten weather.
To a very great degree: The child is spoiled rotten.
[Middle English roten, from Old Norse rotinn.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.