\ ˈmüt How to pronounce moot (audio) \

Definition of moot

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : open to question : debatable
b : subjected to discussion : disputed
2 : deprived of practical significance : made abstract or purely academic


mooted; mooting; moots

Definition of moot (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to bring up for discussion : broach
b : debate
2 archaic : to discuss from a legal standpoint : argue



Definition of moot (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : a deliberative assembly primarily for the administration of justice especially : one held by the freemen of an Anglo-Saxon community
2 obsolete : argument, discussion

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Did You Know?


Moot derives from gemōt, an Old English name for a judicial court. Originally, moot named either the court itself or an argument that might be debated by one. By the 16th century, the legal role of judicial moots had diminished, and the only remnant of them were moot courts, academic mock courts in which law students could try hypothetical cases for practice. Back then, moot was used as a synonym of debatable, but because the cases students tried in moot courts were simply academic exercises, the word gained the second sense, "deprived of practical significance." Some commentators still frown on using moot to mean "purely academic," but most editors now accept both senses as standard.

Examples of moot in a Sentence

Adjective Among the many advantages of legislation requiring a label was that it allowed the industry to insist—in court if necessary—that claims against the companies for negligence and deception were now moot. Every smoker would be repeatedly warned that "smoking may be hazardous to your health." — Allan M. Brandt, The Cigarette Century, 2007 And the question of delight shouldn't be moot. — Edward Hoagland, Harper's, June 2007 … a genuine Atlantic political culture might be the result—rendering the fears expressed in this article largely moot. — John O'Sullivan, National Review, 6 Dec. 1999 The court ruled that the issue is now moot because the people involved in the dispute have died. I think they were wrong, but the point is moot. Their decision has been made and it can't be changed now. Verb And it was they, not the British, who slapped down any suggestion of democratic reform when it was quietly mooted by British colonial officers in the 1950s. — Ian Buruma, New Republic, 24 Sept. 2001 … he looked for an easy way out. A spot in the stateside Guard would have suited him fine; in the event, he dodged and weaved until a low draft number came along to moot his problem. — Hendrik Hertzberg, New Yorker, 16 & 23 Oct. 2000 And then the word comes of Ted's inoperable pancreatic cancer, and death moots the long conflict. — Richard Rhodes, New York Times Book Review, 24 Dec. 2000 conservatives had shouted down the proposal when it was first mooted the issue of whether a person's nature or upbringing is more important continues to be mooted by experts and laymen alike
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Barrett said state law makes issues such as rate increases almost a moot point. Brian Lisik, cleveland, "Brunswick City Council to vote on Medina County Solid Waste District’s five-year plan," 20 Oct. 2020 If Big Pharma’s attacks on FQHCs continue, the White House’s executive order referenced in the editorial may be a moot point. Star Tribune, "Readers Write: Trump's debate comments, judges up for re-election, divided Legislature," 9 Oct. 2020 This may ultimately be a moot point, as Hurricane Delta may force the Saints to relocate Monday's game. Amie Just | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "New Orleans mayor LaToya Cantrell denies Saints' request to have 25% attendance for game against Chargers," 7 Oct. 2020 Having already earned his degree in Kinesiology, Brasher decided pursuing a master’s degree was a moot point after being accepted into the program and is currently treading water until the end of the semester. Evan Dudley, al, "‘Working Man’: Luke Brasher making most of senior season," 2 Oct. 2020 Brown noted that any concern about accepting FirstEnergy's donations could be moot. Jessie Balmert, The Enquirer, "Judge won't block donations from FirstEnergy to Ohio politicians, fees to nuclear plants," 2 Oct. 2020 The final two periods became a moot point because of the first period’s lack of discipline, and the opportunities given to Tampa Bay. Matthew Defranks, Dallas News, "In Game 2 loss, the Stars toyed with danger — and the Lightning made them pay for it," 22 Sep. 2020 During the height of the global pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, the idea of fashion trends became something of a moot point. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "New Denim Label Tu es mon Trésor Explores the Comforts of Nostalgia," 2 Sep. 2020 The fight over whether Phoenix-area gyms, bars, movie theaters and water parks can reopen could be a moot point by Thursday if Maricopa County’s downward trend in coronavirus cases holds, the state’s top health officer said. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Busting Bundy, blaming students, supporting masks: News from around our 50 states," 27 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The report increases pressure on Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s administration, which plans to decide soon whether to proceed with HS2, which was first mooted in 2009 and has proven deeply unpopular with communities along its route. Alex Morales, Bloomberg.com, "U.K. High Speed Rail Is Over Budget and Delayed, Watchdog Says," 29 Apr. 2020 The deal, first mooted in August, gives Tencent a stake in a firm whose catalogue spans artists from ABBA and Bob Marley to Jay-Z and Taylor Swift. The Economist, "Tencent buys a stake in Universal Music," 2 Jan. 2020 Legends take shape; a miracle is reported; a mystery is mooted; competing cults are born. William Deresiewicz, The Atlantic, "The Special Child," 17 May 2020 Worrying about the specific identities of those affected by COVID-19 may soon be moot, says Stephen Latham, director of Yale University’s Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics in Connecticut. Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, "Coronavirus victims are anonymous - on purpose. Releasing their names would be a disaster.," 6 Mar. 2020 The panel recommended a 600,000 to 1 million-barrel-a-day reduction in the second quarter, more ambitious than curbs mooted in February but still short of some estimates of the demand loss. Grant Smith, BostonGlobe.com, "Saudis want OPEC+ to cut more than 1 million barrels a day," 5 Mar. 2020 What’s more, the possibility of this tie-up has been so long mooted that some bid premium should have been baked into the target’s share price for a while. Chris Hughes | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "What Should Deutsche Bank Pay for Commerzbank?," 19 Mar. 2019 That such a plan could even be mooted reflects the fact that, again, Trump does not understand the cure. Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker, "Trump’s Reckless Rush to Reopen," 24 Mar. 2020 Firms welcomed the removal of a cap on migrant numbers, the opening up of routes for skilled workers and the lowering of the £30,000 salary threshold initially mooted. The Economist, "Britain’s post-Brexit immigration rules worry business," 19 Feb. 2020

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


1563, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2


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

History and Etymology for moot

Noun, Adjective, and Verb

Middle English, from Old English mōt, gemōt; akin to Middle High German muoze meeting

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Time Traveler for moot

Time Traveler

The first known use of moot was before the 12th century

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Statistics for moot

Last Updated

25 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Moot.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/moot. Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for moot

How to pronounce moot (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of moot

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not certain : argued about but not possible for people to prove
US : not worth talking about : no longer important or worth discussing



English Language Learners Definition of moot (Entry 2 of 2)

formal : to introduce (an idea, subject, etc.) for discussion
\ ˈmüt How to pronounce moot (audio) \

Legal Definition of moot

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make moot statute of limitations would moot the effort— S. R. Sontag

Legal Definition of moot (Entry 2 of 2)

: deprived of practical significance : made abstract or purely academic the case became moot when the defendant paid the sum at issue — see also mootness doctrine — compare justiciable, ripe

Other Words from moot

mootness \ ˈmüt-​nəs \ noun

History and Etymology for moot


(of a trial or hearing) hypothetical, staged for practice, from moot hypothetical case for law students, argument, deliberative assembly, from Old English mōt assembly, meeting

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