molt

verb
\ ˈmōlt How to pronounce molt (audio) \
molted; molting; molts

Definition of molt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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 sense 1)) used of arthropods a spider, like a lobster, molts its covering as it grows — Eugene Kinkead

molt

noun

Definition of molt (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act or process of molting specifically : ecdysis

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Other Words from molt

Verb

molter noun

Synonyms for molt

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of molt in a Sentence

Verb Snakes molt as they grow, shedding the old skin and growing a larger new skin. a crab molts its shell as it grows larger
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Seals molt annually, so the device falls off after a year. Rebecca Cairns, CNN, 26 May 2021 As the days warm up, more and more will make the journey up tree trunks to molt, find a mate, lay their eggs, then die soon after. Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, 25 May 2021 But, in the span of two to four weeks, each cicada in this brood will molt, eat and try to mate before dying. Washington Post, 4 May 2021 But keep in mind: people bold enough to snack on cicadas usually do so right after the bugs molt their exoskeletons – long before Massospora takes control of their bodies. Jon Webb, USA TODAY, 14 May 2021 The cows then go on a short foraging trip that lasts about 70 days and return to shore to molt for about 90 days before embarking on their long migration. Tara Duggan, San Francisco Chronicle, 17 Mar. 2021 Other species, like the scarlet tanager, molt twice per year and regularly appear yellowish in the fall and winter and red in the summer. Dennis Pillion | Dpillion@al.com, al, 12 Mar. 2021 Arctic hares molt or shed their fur with the changing seasons, becoming brown for better camouflage during the summer. Samantha Lawyer, Woman's Day, 26 Feb. 2021 During the pandemic, certainly during colder months, many women are wearing pants, with skirts and dresses left to molt in closets. Washington Post, 7 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This is a once-in-17-years event where the insects burrow out of the ground, molt, reproduce and then die. David J. Smith, Forbes, 4 June 2021 To gain, lose, molt, flower, fruit and more will happen again and again. Holiday Mathis, Arkansas Online, 31 May 2021 This spring, the 17-year cicadas of Brood X will emerge from underground, climb tree trunks and molt, leaving their crunchy shells behind. Catherine Mcneur, Scientific American, 9 May 2021 Once out in the open, often after climbing high up in a tree, the cicadas molt, leaving the shell that once provided protection behind. Dwight Weingarten, The Christian Science Monitor, 4 May 2021 April and May are busy months at the Piedras Blancas elephant seal rookery, according to Friends of the Elephant Seal, as adult female and juvenile seals return to shore to molt. Los Angeles Times, 15 Apr. 2021 Then, the fascinating creatures will settle on perches of all kinds to do their final molt, leaving behind their adolescent shells. Christine Condon, baltimoresun.com, 4 Mar. 2021 After the molt, Clawdia’s new exoskeleton was not as solidly blue as before. John Kuntz, cleveland, 13 Feb. 2021 Researchers have observed that a molt of a single Japanese spider crab in captivity took 103 minutes, and the crab’s growth rate was nearly 22 percent. National Geographic, 16 Sep. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of molt

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun

1815, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for molt

Verb and Noun

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

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Time Traveler for molt

Time Traveler

The first known use of molt was in the 15th century

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Statistics for molt

Last Updated

8 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Molt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/molt. Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for molt

molt

verb

English Language Learners Definition of molt

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

molt

verb
\ ˈmōlt How to pronounce molt (audio) \
molted; molting

Kids Definition of molt

: to shed outer material (as hair, shell, or horns) that will be replaced by a new growth
\ ˈmōlt How to pronounce molt (audio) \
variants: or chiefly British moult

Medical Definition of molt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

molt

noun
variants: or chiefly British moult

Medical Definition of molt (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act or process of molting specifically : ecdysis

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