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rust (n.)

"red oxide of iron," Old English rust "rust; moral canker," related to rudu "redness," from Proto-Germanic *rusta- (source also of Frisian rust, Old High German and German rost, Middle Dutch ro(e)st), from PIE *reudh-s-to- (source also of Lithuanian rustas "brownish," rūdėti "to rust;" Latin robigo, Old Church Slavonic ruzda "rust"), from suffixed form of root *reudh- "red, ruddy."

As a plant disease, attested from mid-14c. Rust Belt "decayed urban industrial areas of mid-central U.S." (1984) was popularized, if not coined, by Walter Mondale's presidential campaign.

rust (v.)

early 13c., from rust (n.). Transitive sense "cause to rust" is from 1590s. Related: Rusted; rusting.

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Definitions of rust from WordNet
1
rust (n.)
a red or brown oxide coating on iron or steel caused by the action of oxygen and moisture;
rust (n.)
a plant disease that produces a reddish-brown discoloration of leaves and stems; caused by various rust fungi;
rust (n.)
the formation of reddish-brown ferric oxides on iron by low-temperature oxidation in the presence of water;
Synonyms: rusting
rust (n.)
any of various fungi causing rust disease in plants;
Synonyms: rust fungus
2
rust (v.)
become destroyed by water, air, or a corrosive such as an acid;
The pipes rusted
Synonyms: corrode
rust (v.)
cause to deteriorate due to the action of water, air, or an acid;
The steady dripping of water rusted the metal stopper in the sink
Synonyms: corrode / eat
rust (v.)
become coated with oxide;
3
rust (adj.)
of the brown color of rust;
Synonyms: rusty / rust-brown
From wordnet.princeton.edu