\ˈmōt \

Definition of moat 

1 : a deep and wide trench around the rampart of a fortified place (such as a castle) that is usually filled with water The moat can be crossed by a drawbridge.

2 : a channel resembling a moat (as about a seamount or for confinement of animals in a zoo) A Bengal tiger stared at me from across the moat.

Illustration of moat

Illustration of moat

moat 1

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Other Words from moat

moated \ˈmō-təd \ adjective
moatlike \-ˌlīk \ adjective

Examples of moat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The One has 20 bedrooms, seven pools (including a moat) and five elevators. Rick Hampson, USA TODAY, "In the second Gilded Age, the mansions get bigger, and the homeless get closer," 16 May 2018 Today, along the grand moat of the former royal palace, Chinese music rings out as people perform tai chi exercises, a sign of an uneasy transformation taking place in Myanmar’s second-largest city. Washington Post, "Chinese influx transforming Myanmar’s quintessential city," 1 May 2018 The three of them make a sandcastle, complete with bridges and moats. Shaila Kapoor,, "The moment on the beach is fleeting. Or is it forever?," 25 June 2018 And not just because Saudi Arabia is preparing to build a moat along its 38-mile border with Qatar to turn it into an island—seriously. Ian Bremmer, Time, "The World Cup’s Biggest Winners and Losers So Far—Both On and Off the Field," 29 June 2018 There’s a giant moat between Fullei and any other sprout growers. Joseph A. Mann Jr., miamiherald, "Fullei Fresh puts sprouts on your table | Miami Herald," 17 May 2018 Buffett said that there are still businesses with moats, including the See's Candies unit that Berkshire Hathaway Inc. owns, and that Musk wouldn't want to take on his company in that area. Bloomberg,, "Elon Musk trolls Warren Buffett with tweets on candy company," 6 May 2018 Buffett said there are still businesses with moats, including the See’s Candies unit that Berkshire owns, and that Musk wouldn’t want to take on his company in that area. Sonali Basak,, "Musk Is ‘Super Super Serious’ About Attacking Buffett's Candy Moat," 5 May 2018 Bredgade stretches from Nyhavn canal to the moats of Kastellet, but this street is more than a convenient thoroughfare. New York Times, "36 Hours in Copenhagen," 26 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'moat.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of moat

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for moat

Middle English mote, from Anglo-French mote, motte mound, moat

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Last Updated

22 Sep 2018

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The first known use of moat was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of moat

: a deep, wide ditch that is usually filled with water and that goes around the walls of a place (such as a castle) to protect it from being attacked


\ˈmōt \

Kids Definition of moat

: a deep wide ditch around the walls of a castle or fort that is usually filled with water

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See words that rhyme with moat

Spanish Central: Translation of moat

Nglish: Translation of moat for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about moat

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