Meaning of rotten borough

rot'ten bor'ough

Pronunciation: [key]
  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.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.