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

Definition of molder

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to crumble into particles : disintegrate, decay


mold·​er | \ ˈmōl-dər How to pronounce molder (audio) \
plural molders

Definition of molder (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for molder

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of molder in a Sentence

Verb leaves moldering in the compost pile
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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, "Why a Struggling Rust Belt City Pinned Its Revival on a Self-Chilling Beverage Can," 11 May 2020 Quarantine — forced isolation — has left people moldering. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "COVID Cash for the Arts: Where to Start," 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, "A Jungle Airstrip Stirs Suspicions About China’s Plans for Cambodia," 22 Dec. 2019 Weariness was in the air, along with the smell of sweat, urine and moldering trash. Los Angeles Times, "Broadway Place’s homeless residents were promised homes. Had the city forgotten them?," 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, "The Castañeda reopens in Las Vegas, N.M., thanks to an entrepreneur with a soft spot for historic hotels," 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, "Their Fathers Never Spoke of the War. Their Children Want to Know Why.," 5 June 2019 The cost to the Treasury was lower and there were no bothersome surpluses moldering in storage. Edward Lotterman, Twin Cities, "Real World Economics: Weather, bad crops and lasting effects," 9 June 2019 In one piece, Nuanced outsider, Yao considers the problem of ocean pollution with a striking visual: a bunch of moldering teddy bears. Marley Marius, Vogue, "At the Honolulu Biennial, Artist Amy Yao Examines Environments and Identity (With the Help of Some Algae)," 12 Mar. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of molder


1531, in the meaning defined above


1599, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for molder


frequentative of mold entry 4

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about molder

Time Traveler for molder

Time Traveler

The first known use of molder was in 1531

See more words from the same year

Statistics for molder

Cite this Entry

“Molder.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for molder


How to pronounce molder (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of molder

: to rot slowly especially from not being used : to decay slowly

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on molder

What made you want to look up molder? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!