moi·​e·​ty ˈmȯi-ə-tē How to pronounce moiety (audio)
plural moieties
: one of two equal parts : half
: one of two approximately equal parts
… war, pestilence, and famine had consumed … the moiety of the human species.Edward Gibbon
: one of the portions into which something is divided : component, part
an ether molecule with a benzene moiety
: one of two basic complementary tribal subdivisions
the pueblo's population is divided into two halves or moieties; the Squash, or Winter People, and the Turquoise, or Summer PeopleTom Bahti

Did you know?

Moiety is one of thousands of words that English speakers borrowed from French. The Anglo-French moité (meaning "a half" or "part of something") comes from Late Latin medietat-, meaning "a half." Around the same time that moiety was borrowed from Anglo-French, medietat- was also borrowed directly from Latin as mediety, a word which can also mean "a half." Medietat- comes from Latin medius (meaning "middle"), which has contributed to such English words as medium, meridian, and milieu.

Examples of moiety in a Sentence

the lot was split into two equal moieties
Recent Examples on the Web The researchers’ structural comparison demonstrated that the binding mode of GS-441524 in the macrodomain highly resembled that of the adenosine moiety of ADP-ribose, indicating that the metabolite can bind to the macrodomain in place of ADP-ribose (Figure 8). William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 4 June 2021 The Google Doodle features Peratrovich speaking into a microphone at a podium with a raven behind her, representing her Lukaax̱.ádi clan — a Raven moiety. Samantha Davenport, Anchorage Daily News, 31 Dec. 2020 That was done so the hat maker would come from a non-Raven moiety. Ben Hohenstatt, Anchorage Daily News, 6 Oct. 2019 GHF Language and Projects Lead Fred White said though the original plan was to make this an Eagle pole, a committee of elders from GHF and DIA decided instead to honor a specific clan of the Eagle moiety, the Yanyeidi. Alex McCarthy, The Seattle Times, 16 Dec. 2017 At this ceremony, representatives of the opposite moiety recognize the unveiling of an official clan crest object. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, 11 Sep. 2017 The announcement of HTTPanties is not a single doom; in the name lays a moiety of the world. Rob Beschizza, WIRED, 8 Feb. 2007

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'moiety.' 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 moite, from Anglo-French meité, moité, from Late Latin medietat-, medietas, from Latin medius middle — more at mid

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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


Dictionary Entries Near moiety

Cite this Entry

“Moiety.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


plural moieties
: one of two equal or approximately equal parts : half

Medical Definition


moi·​ety ˈmȯi-ət-ē How to pronounce moiety (audio)
plural moieties
: one of the portions into which something is divided
the hemoglobin molecule contains four heme moietiesLionel Whitby

Legal Definition


moi·​e·​ty ˈmȯi-ə-tē How to pronounce moiety (audio)
plural moieties
: half of something (as an estate)
an interest exceeding a moiety
compare entirety sense 2

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