Etymology
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rusty (adj.)

"covered or affected with rust, rusted," Old English rustig; see rust (n.) + -y (2). Cognate with Frisian roastich, Middle Dutch roestich, Dutch roestig, Old High German rostag, German rostig.

"In the 16th and 17th centuries frequently used as a term of general disparagement" [OED]. In plant an animal names, "having the color of rust." Of bodily skills, "impaired by neglect," from c. 1500; extended to mental qualities, learning, skills, accomplishments, etc., by 1796. Related: Rustily; rustiness.

updated on October 25, 2021

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Definitions of rusty from WordNet

rusty (adj.)
impaired in skill by neglect;
Synonyms: out of practice
rusty (adj.)
covered with or consisting of rust;
a rusty machine
rusty deposits
rusty (adj.)
of the brown color of rust;
Synonyms: rust / rust-brown
rusty (adj.)
ancient;
Synonyms: hoary
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.