: slightly or moderately wet : damp
I love cookies when they are moist and chewy.
: tearful
the eyes of both of us … were moist with the joy of successJack London
: characterized by high humidity
Fog is formed when warm moist air moves over a cold surface.
moistly adverb
moistness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for moist

wet, damp, dank, moist, humid mean covered or more or less soaked with liquid.

wet usually implies saturation but may suggest a covering of a surface with water or something (such as paint) not yet dry.

slipped on the wet pavement

damp implies a slight or moderate absorption and often connotes an unpleasant degree of moisture.

clothes will mildew if stored in a damp place

dank implies a more distinctly disagreeable or unwholesome dampness.

a prisoner in a cold, dank cell

moist applies to what is slightly damp or not felt as dry.

treat the injury with moist heat

humid applies to the presence of much water vapor in the air.

a hot, humid climate

Examples of moist in a Sentence

I love cookies when they are moist and chewy. The pork chops were tender and moist. a moist and spongy chocolate cake The plant grows best in direct sunlight and with rich, moist soil. She dabbed her moist eyes with a handkerchief. Fog is formed when warm moist air moves over a cold surface. The eggs will hatch sooner in warm, moist conditions. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Using oil instead of butter means there is more fat in the batter for a richer, more moist cake. Pam Lolley, Southern Living, 22 Nov. 2023 However, the moist, dark, and enclosed environment is just right for toenail fungus to thrive. Nick Blackmer, Verywell Health, 16 Nov. 2023 Apply the jelly two to three times per day for two weeks with a cotton swab to keep your nose moist. Beth Krietsch, SELF, 15 Nov. 2023 Each stone thread being pulled is also a loss of biodiversity, because each wall is a linear rock desert in an otherwise moist world. Robert Thorson, Smithsonian Magazine, 14 Nov. 2023 Extremely Slow-Roasted Turkey Breast Time is a key ingredient in this winning main that produces extremely moist meat, which is not always the case with turkey breast. Becky Krystal, Washington Post, 13 Nov. 2023 Keep the area moist, but not wet, and wait four to six weeks to plant. Nate Northup, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Nov. 2023 Sequoias are facing a lengthening dry season because the snowpack that keeps their soil moist is melting earlier in the year. Soumya Karlamangla, New York Times, 31 Oct. 2023 Each cookie is buttery, sweet, moist, and easy to make. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 10 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'moist.' 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 moiste, from Anglo-French, perhaps from Vulgar Latin *muscidus, alteration of Latin mucidus slimy, from mucus nasal mucus

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of moist was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near moist

Cite this Entry

“Moist.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/moist. Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: slightly or moderately wet
moist earth
: characterized by high humidity
moistly adverb
moistness noun

Medical Definition


: slightly or moderately wet
: marked by a discharge or exudation of liquid
moist eczema
: suggestive of the presence of liquid
used of sounds heard in auscultation
moist rales

More from Merriam-Webster on moist

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