1 of 2


often capitalized : the earth's natural satellite (see satellite sense 1a) that shines by the sun's reflected light, revolves about the earth from west to east in about 29¹/₂ days with reference to the sun or about 27¹/₃ days with reference to the stars, and has a diameter of 2160 miles (3475 kilometers), a mean distance from the earth of about 238,900 miles (384,400 kilometers), and a mass about one eightieth that of the earth
usually used with the
: one complete moon cycle consisting of four phases (see phase entry 1 sense 1)
: satellite sense 1
specifically : a natural satellite of a planet
the moons of Jupiter
: an indefinite usually extended period of time
a labor of many moons
: moonlight
keep out of the moon or it may turn your headH. R. Haggard
: something that resembles a moon: such as
: a highly translucent (see translucent sense 1) spot on old porcelain
: lunule
slang : naked buttocks
: something impossible or inaccessible
reach for the moon
moonlike adjective


2 of 2


mooned; mooning; moons

transitive verb

: to spend in idle reverie : dream
used with away
mooned the afternoon away
slang : to expose one's naked buttocks to
One of the boys mooned the crowd.

intransitive verb

: to spend time in idle reverie : behave abstractedly
fans mooning over movie stars
over the moon
: very pleased : in high spirits

Examples of moon in a Sentence

Noun The telescope makes the craters on the surface of the moon incredibly clear. the orbit of the Moon around the Earth Europa and Io are both moons of Jupiter. a planet orbited by one moon Verb One of the boys mooned the crowd. One of the boys mooned at the crowd. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
The Best Paint Color for Your Zodiac Sign, According to an Astrologer Why are moon motifs so popular right now? Maggie Gillette, Better Homes & Gardens, 29 Sep. 2023 There will also be an opportunity for people to touch a moon jelly, and a member of the husbandry staff will lead the tour, Castillo said. Lori Weisberg, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 Sep. 2023 But distinct heavenly lights -- sun, moon, and stars -- did not come until the fourth. Christian Schneider, National Review, 28 Sep. 2023 The radio telescope is on track to launch atop Blue Ghost, private space company Firefly Aerospace’s lunar lander, as part of the company’s second moon excursion. Andrew Paul, Popular Science, 27 Sep. 2023 That includes collaborating with Japan’s MMX mission, which will launch next year to visit the Martian moon Phobos and return a sample in 2029. WIRED, 26 Sep. 2023 Some observations in recent years have suggested that, much like Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus, Europa may shoot plumes of salty water out into space, which would allow nearby spacecraft to directly sample it. Meghan Bartels, Scientific American, 21 Sep. 2023 Biden also congratulated Modi on India's recent moon landing. Aamer Madhani and Josh Boak The Associated Press, Arkansas Online, 9 Sep. 2023 The name comes from the Greek goddess Artemis, sister of Apollo, namesake for America’s first moon program. Lee Roop |, al, 8 Sep. 2023
But unfortunately for me, George Eliot doesn’t at any point go off on one about Dorothea’s potentially problematic drinking, nor does Daphne du Maurier’s titular heroine moon a TV camera by inelegantly sliding down a fire station pole. Lauren O’Neill, Vogue, 17 July 2023 His running commentary was informative and funny, helping fill in the story of the landscape and of its stranger features—like the many rafters who kept mooning the train. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 14 July 2023 Leon continued the post, adding a shot of herself mooning the camera in the catsuit while posing with her label-mate Sammy before adding a final clip of herself doing sultry poses on a glowing dance floor. Zizi Strater, Peoplemag, 17 May 2023 Unfortunately, there is a fair bit of mooning on the part of both Will and Summer. The Rachel Weisz Gay Index, Vulture, 24 Apr. 2023 There are some quirky moments with the various surrealists — André Breton, Max Ernst and Hans Bellmer get the greatest spotlight — mooning around the Villa, saying bizarre things and celebrating holidays in weird ways. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 5 Apr. 2023 An unruly passenger flying from Ireland to New York earlier this month got into trouble after allegedly creating multiple disturbances, going so far as to moon a flight attendant and throw an empty can at another passenger. Bailey Schulz, USA TODAY, 23 Jan. 2022 Bart, meanwhile, makes a statement by pulling down his leather and denim trousers to moon the audience. CNN, 4 Oct. 2021 Incredibly, #MeToo Marilyn, her body posed tilting slightly forward, will even be positioned to moon the museum. Christopher Knight Art Critic, Los Angeles Times, 20 Mar. 2021 See More

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

Word History


Noun and Verb

Middle English mone, from Old English mōna; akin to Old High German māno moon, Latin mensis month, Greek mēn month, mēnē moon

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1836, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of moon was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near moon

Cite this Entry

“Moon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: the earth's natural satellite that shines by reflecting light from the sun and revolves about the earth in about 29½ days
: an unspecified and usually long period of time
took many moons to complete


2 of 2 verb
: to spend time daydreaming

Medical Definition



More from Merriam-Webster on moon

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