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verb \ˈmōlt\

biology : to lose a covering of hair, feathers, etc., and replace it with new growth in the same place

Full Definition of MOLT

intransitive verb
:  to shed hair, feathers, shell, horns, or an outer layer periodically
transitive verb
:  to cast off (an outer covering) periodically; specifically :  to throw off (the old cuticle) —used of arthropods
molt·er noun

Examples of MOLT

  1. Snakes molt as they grow, shedding the old skin and growing a larger new skin.
  2. <a crab molts its shell as it grows larger>

Origin of MOLT

alteration of Middle English mouten, from Old English -mūtian to change, from Latin mutare — more at mutable
First Known Use: 15th century

Other Insect Terms

drone, entomology, gadfly, pismire, proboscis, vespine

Rhymes with MOLT



Definition of MOLT

:  the act or process of molting; specifically :  ecdysis

First Known Use of MOLT


Other Insect Terms

drone, entomology, gadfly, pismire, proboscis, vespine
MOLTER Defined for Kids


verb \ˈmōlt\

Definition of MOLT for Kids

:  to shed outer material (as hair, shell, or horns) that will be replaced by a new growth


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