1. Decomposed and foul-smelling; rotten: putrid meat.
2. Proceeding from, relating to, or exhibiting putrefaction: a putrid odor.
3. Morally rotten; corrupt: "and all the while scarlet thoughts, putrid fantasies, and no love" (Louis Auchincloss).
4. Of extremely poor quality; atrocious or contemptible: a good play ruined by putrid acting.
[Middle English putred, from Old French putride, from Latin putridus, from putrēre, to be rotten, from puter, putr-, rotten; see p- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
pu·tridi·ty (-trĭdĭ-tē), putrid·ness (-trĭd-nĭs) n.
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.