: 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.
: 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.
moated adjective
moatlike adjective

Illustration of moat

Illustration of moat
  • moat 1

Examples of moat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The first design envisioned small balconies between the layers, but that plan fell away so that the interstitial space is a moat, just out of reach for everyone except window cleaners and gardeners. Curbed, 27 Sep. 2023 Steamed rockfish, which a server compares to clam chowder, delivers on the promise with a moat of diced potatoes, bacon and milky sauce around the entree, freckled with scallion ash, a handy way to deal with the abundance of scallions in the kitchen. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, 18 Aug. 2023 Beyond accruing their own proprietary data, companies must also explore unconventional methods to build up their data moat. François Candelon, Fortune, 6 Oct. 2023 The only way any competitor could quickly access many millions of users, and thus the most important moat for Google to protect, is through Safari on iOS. David Pierce, The Verge, 11 Oct. 2023 Layer 3 or 4 inches of mulch onto the soil surface, starting at the outer edge of the moat. Nan Sterman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Oct. 2023 When the hole is full, make a shallow moat around the stem or trunk. Nan Sterman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Oct. 2023 Over centuries, the outer walls had fallen and the main hall had softened into a stone residence flanked by two low barns and bordered by narrow, grassy moats, dug long ago to keep a handful of people safe against marauders seeking—what?, Jacob Jiang wondered on the day of his arrival. Lan Samantha Chang, Harper's Magazine, 14 Aug. 2023 The economic moat theory, which was popularized by the Berkshire Hathaway chairman, refers to a business’s ability to maintain an advantage over its competitors in order to protect its market share and long-term financial outlook. Eleanor Pringle, Fortune, 11 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'moat.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of moat was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near moat

Cite this Entry

“Moat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


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

More from Merriam-Webster on moat

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