moot

1 of 3

adjective

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

moot

2 of 3

verb

mooted; mooting; moots

transitive verb

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

moot

3 of 3

noun

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

Did you know?

Moot derives from gemōt, an Old English name for a judicial court. Originally, moot referred to 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 additional 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
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
That rendered the lawsuit moot — but the company has refused to drop it. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 20 May 2024 Decades-old tracks mean that, on certain sections of routes, trains can’t accelerate to top speeds, rendering modern locomotives moot. Paolo Confino, Fortune, 10 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for moot 

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun, Adjective, and Verb

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

First Known Use

Adjective

1563, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Noun

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near moot

Cite this Entry

“Moot.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/moot. Accessed 30 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

moot

1 of 2 verb
1
: to bring up for discussion
2

moot

2 of 2 adjective
: open to question or discussion : debatable
a moot question

Legal Definition

moot

1 of 2 transitive verb
: to make moot
statute of limitations would moot the effortS. R. Sontag

moot

2 of 2 adjective
: 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
mootness
ˈmüt-nəs
noun
Etymology

Adjective

(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

More from Merriam-Webster on moot

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