\ ˈmōt How to pronounce moat (audio) \

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 How to pronounce moated (audio) \ adjective
moatlike \ ˈmōt-​ˌlīk How to pronounce moatlike (audio) \ adjective

Examples of moat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Ellison remained trapped between the castle of his towering first novel and the growing moat of his second. Kevin Young, The New Yorker, "Ralph Ellison’s Slow-Burning Art," 2 Dec. 2019 Get our daily newsletter Building the moat would be tougher. The Economist, "An absurd reckoning of Donald Trump’s border moat," 5 Oct. 2019 Meanwhile, breakfast aficionados will appricate Breville's Smart Waffle Maker ($148.99, originally $199.95;, which features five different darkness settings, a no-mess moat and Thermal Pro even heat for a perfect waffle every time. Chelsea Stone, CNN Underscored, "Upgrade your kitchen appliances with this Breville sale at Amazon," 11 Dec. 2019 Now, Manhattan isn’t actually a medieval castle that protects itself by moat. Jake Coyle, Detroit Free Press, "Review: ‘21 Bridges’ puts New York on lockdown," 22 Nov. 2019 Free parking was one of BART’s core principles when the rail system opened in 1972, with each station surrounded by a vast moat of asphalt. Rachel Swan,, "BART’s $3 parking comes under scrutiny. Should prices go up with demand?," 9 Oct. 2019 In other words, a building devoted to international cooperation across borders will likely be isolated by a moat. Zoë Schlanger, Quartz, "Sea level rise will flood the neighborhood around the UN building with two degrees warming," 22 Sep. 2019 Network effects can give a company scale quickly and create what investor Warren Buffett calls competitive moats. David Mclaughlin | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "Did Big Tech Get Too Big? More of the World Is Asking," 26 July 2019 Mr Trump reportedly wants an alligator moat to keep out Mexicans. The Economist, "Migration To make the world richer, let people move," 14 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for moat

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for moat

Last Updated

13 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Moat.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 24 January 2020.

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More Definitions for moat


How to pronounce moat (audio)

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 How to pronounce moat (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on moat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for moat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with moat

Spanish Central: Translation of moat

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

Comments on moat

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a feeling of well-being or elation

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