1. To undergo a process common to organic substances by which they lose the cohesion of their parts and pass through certain chemical changes, giving off usually in some stages of the process more or less offensive odors; to become decomposed by a natural process; to putrefy; to decay. Fixed like a plant on his peculiar spot, To draw nutrition, propagate, and rot. (pope)
Origin: OE. Rotien, AS. Rotian; akin to D. Rotten, Prov. G. Rotten, OHG. Rozzn, G. Rosten to steep flax, Icel. Rotna to rot, Sw. Ruttna, Dan. Raadne, Icel. Rottin rotten. Cf. Ret, Rotten.
3. [Cf. G. Rotz glanders] A fatal distemper which attacks sheep and sometimes other animals. It is due to the presence of a parasitic worm in the liver or gall bladder. See 1st fluke. His cattle must of rot and murrain die.
(Science: botany) (milton) bitter rot, a disease 498 of grapes, first appearing in whitish pustules on the fruit, caused by the fungus Coniothyrium diplodiella. (biology) decaying caused by bacterial or fungal action.