I. noun Etymology: Middle English, from Old English rūst; akin to Old English rēad red — more at red Date: before 12th century 1. a. the reddish brittle coating formed on iron especially when chemically attacked by moist air and composed essentially of hydrated ferric oxide b. a comparable coating produced on a metal other than iron by corrosion c. something resembling rust ; accretion 2. corrosive or injurious influence or effect 3. any of numerous destructive diseases of plants produced by fungi (order Uredinales) and characterized by usually reddish-brown pustular lesions; also a fungus causing this 4. a strong reddish brown II. verb Date: 13th century intransitive verb 1. to form rust ; become oxidized <
iron rusts
2. to degenerate especially from inaction, lack of use, or passage of time <
most men would…have allowed their faculties to rust — T. B. Macaulay
3. to become reddish brown as if with rust <
the leaves slowly rusted
4. to be affected with a rust fungus transitive verb 1. to cause (a metal) to form rust <
keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them — Shakespeare
2. to impair or corrode by or as if by time, inactivity, or deleterious use 3. to cause to become reddish brown ; turn the color of rust

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


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