moon·​shine | \ ˈmün-ˌshīn How to pronounce moonshine (audio) \

Definition of moonshine

1 : moonlight
2 : empty talk : nonsense
3 : intoxicating liquor especially : illegally distilled corn whiskey

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Examples of moonshine in a Sentence

Everything they said was just a load of moonshine. during Prohibition, moonshine and “bathtub gin” were made secretly
Recent Examples on the Web Jason Sanders knows that making moonshine is a federal offense and can land one in trouble. Kathy Stephenson, The Salt Lake Tribune, "This Utah chef — turned outlaw distiller — makes a winning gin for ‘Moonshiners’ show," 1 Apr. 2021 Handcrafted spirits from moonshine to gin can be found at Tarpon Springs Distillery. Patrick Connolly,, "A day in Tarpon Springs is filled with sea sponges, Greek culture," 14 Mar. 2021 Poitín is often called Irish moonshine, but that implies the crude firewater associated with American Prohibition-era bootleggers. Liza Weisstuch,, "Celebrating the Irish poitín," 23 Feb. 2021 Applejack has come a long way from the illicit home brew that — like most moonshine — frequently contained hazardous compounds, like methanol and acetone, that can cause blindness, renal failure and other permanent damage. New York Times, "America’s First Moonshine, Applejack, Returns in Sleeker Style," 2 Feb. 2021 Forget the moonshine, which has largely grown into a tourist industry with cunning labels and long lines at the tasting rooms. Tracey Minkin, Southern Living, "Plan Your Best Vacation Ever," 9 Mar. 2021 Legend even has it that moonshine was brewed in the basement of the lodge during Prohibition. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, "Party Like It's 1921 at This Historic Yosemite Lodge Celebrating Its 100th Anniversary," 4 Mar. 2021 On weekends, people stayed all night drinking moonshine, dancing, and playing music. Leah Willingham, The Christian Science Monitor, "'A blessed gift': How one Mississippi man keeps the blues alive," 3 Mar. 2021 Or the time in a moonshine case where Cook was cross-examining the local sheriff. Bill Rankin, ajc, "Bobby Lee Cook, One of Nation’s Premier Trial Lawyers, Dead at 94," 21 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'moonshine.' 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 moonshine

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for moonshine

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

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Last Updated

25 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Moonshine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for moonshine



English Language Learners Definition of moonshine

chiefly US : a kind of alcohol that people make illegally
British : foolish or untrue words


moon·​shine | \ ˈmün-ˌshīn How to pronounce moonshine (audio) \

Kids Definition of moonshine

1 : moonlight
2 : alcoholic liquor produced illegally

More from Merriam-Webster on moonshine

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for moonshine

Nglish: Translation of moonshine for Spanish Speakers

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