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

Examples of moat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There are more than 30 social audio startups, and no clear and obvious winners with a competitive moat yet. John Koetsier, Forbes, "Twitter Spaces vs Clubhouse: Authenticity vs Ego?," 10 May 2021 With the new federal guidelines rolling out over the next couple of years, plenty of venture capitalists are now betting big that one of many tiny upstarts can breach Epic’s moat. Katie Jennings, Forbes, "The Billionaire Who Controls Your Medical Records," 8 Apr. 2021 Los Angeles now boasts the world’s most expensive home—a $340 million spec mansion complete with five pools, 42 bathrooms, and a moat—while four unhoused tenants die on our streets each day. Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal, The New Republic, "The Enduring Fiction of Affordable Housing," 2 Apr. 2021 Some of us still pine for the original Güero’s hamburguesa, a messy double dripping with American cheese, surrounded by a moat of Juanita’s tortillas chips. Michael Russell, oregonlive, "7 great burgers that didn’t quite fit our smash ranking (but you still need to try)," 30 Mar. 2021 The fencing that formed a metal moat around the Capitol is slowly being removed. Washington Post, "At the Capitol, National Guard troops reflect on their historic role," 20 Mar. 2021 Of course, there’s no moat or fence around a place like Urbana-Champaign — or Iowa City. Doug George,, "Spring break is usually a popular time for college campus visits. Here are options at 7 regional universities amid the pandemic.," 8 Mar. 2021 Fill the circular moat with water to prevent ants from accessing the nectar. Daria Smith, Southern Living, "Bird Feeders for Attracting the Most Beautiful Feathered Friends To Your Yard," 24 Mar. 2021 As Jordan King writes for Metro, high-ranking officials in the medieval church often had palaces consisting of several structures, with the whole estate sometimes enclosed by a moat. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, "Ruins of Medieval Palace Found Beneath English Retiree’s Garden," 15 Mar. 2021

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 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Moat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for moat



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

More from Merriam-Webster on moat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for moat

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

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