1 of 2


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


2 of 2


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

Examples of molder in a Sentence

Verb leaves moldering in the compost pile
Recent Examples on the Web
Its vaulted ceiling was slowly moldering, and the floor was covered in dust and debris. Simon Willis, Travel + Leisure, 25 Apr. 2024 At the beginning of the 1955 novel The Talented Mr. Ripley, as Ripley is moldering in poverty in New York and scraping together a living via petty mail scams, he’s sustained by an illogical faith in his own superiority. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 15 Apr. 2024 Stored for decades in shipping containers left moldering in Texas, Luna Luna was purchased and partially restored by an entrepreneurial team that includes the mega-rich rapper Drake. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, 25 Mar. 2024 Corruption and the legacy of dictatorship have kept it in a time warp of cobbled streets, moldering mansions and the odd horse-and-cart. Laurence Blair, New York Times, 7 Mar. 2024 Advertisement The effort was moldering in the hearts of Trump antagonists until last week when the Colorado Supreme Court, in a 4-3 decision, disqualified the former president from the state’s primary ballot on the grounds of insurrection. Mark Z. Barabak, Los Angeles Times, 27 Dec. 2023 California March 16, 2023 Gone would be death row, with its tiny, moldering cells. Anita Chabria, Los Angeles Times, 26 Dec. 2023 The story picks up a year or so later, with the Slough House staff still moldering. Lili Loofbourow, Washington Post, 29 Nov. 2023 Soon there was hardly room in his moldering Cotswolds mansion for his second wife, Elizabeth, who eventually moved to a boardinghouse in Torquay, an English working-class seaside resort. Franz Lidz, New York Times, 31 Oct. 2023
While his wife molders at home, Jan runs the business and goes on tiger-hunting expeditions with Karel, a brown-skinned boy with a white-boy’s name and a little emperor’s sense of entitlement. Jessica Kiang, Variety, 25 Aug. 2023 Her adoptive parents were Frank Belusko, a New Jersey glass molder and Dorothy, an auto dealership secretary. Saleen Martin, USA TODAY, 22 Mar. 2023 Still, older stores won’t be left to molder. Ron Hurtibise,, 1 Dec. 2021 Chelsea townhouse is covered with her drawings and photographs; Claude Monet’s water garden in Giverny, France, attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year; and Francis Bacon’s London studio required an excavation by archaeologists to preserve the thousands of items left to molder. New York Times, 10 Sep. 2021 Ultimately a genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus. Katarina Avendaño, Good Housekeeping, 24 Dec. 2022 Some neologisms never make it out of the realm of private conversation, and some molder in the corners of academic journals as useless jargon. Madeline Ostrander, The Atlantic, 23 July 2022 My colleagues in the Lebanese capital, like countless other Beirutis, had their windows blown out and homes wrecked after a warehouse fire set off a vast store of ammonium nitrate that authorities had left to molder. Washington Post, 3 Aug. 2021 Terms were not disclosed last spring when Mundelein, Ill.-based Commercial Plastics announced its purchase of Imperial, a custom injection molder. Catherine Roberts, Star Tribune, 8 Jan. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'molder.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 May. 2024.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on molder

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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