1

molt

play
verb \ ˈmōlt \

Definition of molt

intransitive verb
:to shed hair, feathers, shell, horns, or an outer layer periodically
  • Birds molt once or twice a year.
transitive verb
:to cast off (an outer covering) periodically; specifically :to throw off (the old cuticle (see cuticle 1) used of arthropods
  • a spider, like a lobster, molts its covering as it grows
  • —Eugene Kinkead

molter

noun

Examples of molt in a Sentence

  1. Snakes molt as they grow, shedding the old skin and growing a larger new skin.

  2. a crab molts its shell as it grows larger

Recent Examples of molt from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of molt

alteration of Middle English mouten, from Old English -mūtian to change, from Latin mutare — more at mutable

molt Synonyms

Synonyms
exfoliate, shed, slip, slough (also sluff)
Related Words
flake, peel, scale; chuck, discard, ditch, fling (off or away), jettison, junk, scrap, shuck (off), throw away, throw out, unload

Other Insect Terms


2

molt

noun

Definition of molt

:the act or process of molting; specifically :ecdysis

Recent Examples of molt from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of molt

see 1molt

Other Insect Terms


MOLT Defined for English Language Learners

molt

play
verb

Definition of molt for English Language Learners

  • biology : to lose a covering of hair, feathers, etc., and replace it with new growth in the same place


MOLT Defined for Kids

molt

play
verb \ ˈmōlt \

Definition of molt for Students

molted; molting
:to shed outer material (as hair, shell, or horns) that will be replaced by a new growth

Medical Dictionary

1

molt

play
intransitive verb \ ˈmōlt \
variants: or chiefly British moult

medical Definition of molt

:to shed hair, feathers, shell, horns, or an outer layer periodically
transitive verb
:to cast off (an outer covering) periodically; specifically :to throw off (the old cuticle) used of arthropods

2

molt

noun
variants: or chiefly British moult

medical Definition of molt

:the act or process of molting; specifically :ecdysis


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