moi·​e·​ty | \ ˈmȯi-ə-tē How to pronounce moiety (audio) \
plural moieties

Definition of moiety

1a : one of two equal parts : half
b : one of two approximately equal parts … war, pestilence, and famine had consumed … the moiety of the human species.— Edward Gibbon
2 : one of the portions into which something is divided : component, part an ether molecule with a benzene moiety
3 : 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 People— Tom Bahti

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Synonyms for moiety


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Did You Know?

Moiety is one of thousands of words that English speakers borrowed from French. The Anglo-French moitè (meaning "a half" or "part of something") comes from Late Latin medietat-, meaning "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 That was done so the hat maker would come from a non-Raven moiety. Ben Hohenstatt, Anchorage Daily News, "New technology brings old Tlingit hat back to Alaska," 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, "Healing totem pole features animals, river, Tlingit clansmen," 16 Dec. 2017 At this ceremony, representatives of the opposite moiety recognize the unveiling of an official clan crest object. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "This Replica of a Tlingit Killer Whale Hat Is Spurring Dialogue About Digitization," 11 Sep. 2017 The announcement of HTTPanties is not a single doom; in the name lays a moiety of the world. Rob Beschizza, WIRED, "Elsewhere in the Tubes: Keith Urban Sues to Pry Domain From Namesake; HTTPanties; and more," 8 Feb. 2007

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'moiety.' 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 moiety

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

History and Etymology for moiety

Middle English moite, from Anglo-French meité, moité, from Late Latin medietat-, medietas, from Latin medius middle — more at mid

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Time Traveler for moiety

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

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Cite this Entry

“Moiety.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for moiety


moi·​ety | \ ˈmȯi-ət-ē How to pronounce moiety (audio) \
plural moieties

Medical Definition of moiety

: one of the portions into which something is divided the hemoglobin molecule contains four heme moieties— Lionel Whitby


moi·​e·​ty | \ ˈmȯi-ə-tē How to pronounce moiety (audio) \
plural moieties

Legal Definition of moiety

: half of something (as an estate) an interest exceeding a moiety — compare entirety sense 2

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