A bad individual among many good ones, especially one that spoils the group. For example, The roommates are having problems with Edith—she’s the one rotten apple of the bunch. This expression is a shortening of the proverb a rotten apple spoils the barrel, coming from a 14th-century Latin proverb translated as “The rotten apple injures its neighbors.” The allusion in this idiom is to the spread of mold or other diseases from one apple to the rest. In English the first recorded use was in Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack (1736).
noun 1. (before the Reform Bill of 1832) any English borough that had very few voters yet was represented in Parliament. 2. an election district that has more representatives in a legislative body than the number of its constituents would normally call for. rotten borough noun 1. (before the Reform Act of 1832) any of […]
- Rotten egg
rotten egg see under bad egg
noun, Nautical. 1. ice pitted or honeycombed from melting.
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 […]