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mold·​er ˈmōl-dər How to pronounce molder (audio)
moldered; moldering ˈmōl-d(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce molder (audio) ; molders

intransitive verb

: to crumble into particles : disintegrate, decay


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mold·​er ˈmōl-dər How to pronounce molder (audio)
plural molders
: one that molds something or someone
a molder of minds
an iron molder
… the house and home as both a reflection and a molder of the people who live there. Laurie Graham
especially : one that exerts a determining influence on an attitude or course of development
… seems to have slipped almost effortlessly into his newly acquired role as a molder of world events. Molly Moore
… key opinion molders in Congress and the U.S. media … Michel Oksenberg

Example Sentences

Verb leaves moldering in the compost pile
Recent Examples on the Web
This is more important in warm weather when wet seeds can molder. Jim Williams, Star Tribune, 2 Feb. 2021 The antic Schwitters, by contrast, barks like a dog, sleeps in a basket and, for lack of better material, makes sculptures out of porridge that then molder and turn green. Peter Saenger, WSJ, 25 Sep. 2020 Reeling from decades of decline, the area was a patchwork of potholed streets, weeded lots, moldering homes and drive-thru liquor marts. Desperation Town, ProPublica, 11 May 2020 Quarantine — forced isolation — has left people moldering. Brian T. Allen, National Review, 2 May 2020 But the scale of the land deal at Dara Sakor — which secures 20 percent of Cambodia’s coastline for 99 years — has raised eyebrows, especially since the portion of the project built so far is already moldering in malarial jungle. New York Times, 22 Dec. 2019 Weariness was in the air, along with the smell of sweat, urine and moldering trash. Los Angeles Times, 15 Aug. 2019 But the Alvarado was torn down in 1970, and other Harvey Houses, like the Castañeda, were moved, repurposed or left to molder. Susan Spano, Los Angeles Times, 31 Aug. 2019 Millions of documents were burned; millions more were left soaking wet, and soon began to molder in the muggy Missouri heat. New York Times, 5 June 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'molder.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History



frequentative of mold entry 4

First Known Use


1531, in the meaning defined above


1599, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of molder was in 1531

Dictionary Entries Near molder

Cite this Entry

“Molder.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition



mold·​er ˈmōl-dər How to pronounce molder (audio)
moldered; moldering -d(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce molder (audio)
: to crumble to bits by slow decay : decay

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