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

exfoliate, shed, slip, slough (also sluff)

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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

The whooping crane chick at the Milwaukee zoo is covered in light brown fuzz and has started to molt. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee County Zoo's whooping crane pair act as foster parents to chick born at the zoo," 28 June 2019 Spider molting happens naturally when a spider sheds its exoskeleton for a larger one. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "How Wasps Turn Spiders Into Obedient Zombies," 30 Apr. 2019 A mile more: of chastising thorns, burs and briers that catch at our clothes; of rusty pine needles brilliant with gaudy fungus and molted feathers. Danny Heitman, WSJ, "An Ode to Holiday Companionship," 21 Dec. 2018 More than simply a bold fashion statement, a cozy knitted top can keep a hen warm during molting season and prevent her from picking at herself as new feathers grow in. Lauren Matthews, Country Living, "These DIY Chicken Sweaters Are Going Viral," 21 Jan. 2015 The Weddell seals were already finished molting, so the scene was much cleaner. Kasha Patel, Smithsonian, "How Data-Gathering Seals Help Scientists Measure the Melting Antarctic," 13 July 2018 The birds that fly from Wisconsin to Canada to molt typically stay north of the border until mid to late August, then fly south, Finger said, returning slightly ahead of the fall migration of the MVP geese. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: Canada geese grouping up before molt migration," 9 June 2018 Now that the points from Roland Garros 2017 molted off like snakeskin, Stanislas Wawrinka is now down to world No. 263. Jon Wertheim, SI.com, "Mailbag: Looking Back at Roland Garros," 13 June 2018 About 70% of Canada geese from Wisconsin fly to Ontario to molt, with most in the James Bay region, Finger said. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: Canada geese grouping up before molt migration," 9 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Back on the island, the massive male elephant seal hasn’t finished his annual molt yet. Stephen Witt, WIRED, "Fitted With Sensors, Antarctic Seals Track Water Temperatures," 25 June 2019 From 2011 to 2016, ice seals along Alaska’s west coast showed symptoms of abnormal molt. Tegan Hanlon, Anchorage Daily News, "NOAA investigating ‘unusually large numbers’ of dead ice seals along Alaska’s coast," 12 June 2019 One of the best known molt migrations in Europe involves the common shelduck. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: Canada geese grouping up before molt migration," 9 June 2018 Animals like the snowshoe hare, found in the boreal forests of Alaska, undergo a seasonal molt from brown in the summer to white in the winter to camouflage with their environment. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Winters are warming faster than summers. These US cities could lose weeks of freezing days by 2050.," 21 Dec. 2018 These epic journeys, called pre-molt dispersals, are crucial for survival. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, "20 Things You Didn't Know About ... Penguins," 6 Nov. 2018 Each summer the birds shed, or molt, their wing and tail feathers. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: Canada geese grouping up before molt migration," 9 June 2018 In addition to hola and gràcies, bon día (good morning), si us plau (please), merci (thanks), and molt bó (very good, as in food) will be useful. Sara Mccarty, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Essential Things to Know Before You Visit Barcelona," 5 Mar. 2018 The females will not change as much during the molt. Taylor Piephoff, charlotteobserver, "American goldfinches sport a new look this time of year | Charlotte Observer," 11 Feb. 2018

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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Statistics for molt

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for molt

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on molt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with molt

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for molt

Spanish Central: Translation of molt

Nglish: Translation of molt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of molt for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about molt

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