moot

adjective
\ˈmüt \

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

moot

verb
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

moot

noun

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?

Noun

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

That’s assuming that current election results remain final in the coming weeks — if the numbers change (not likely) and Prop C actually has two-thirds of the vote, then a legal challenge becomes moot. Shirin Ghaffary, Recode, "San Francisco’s Prop C homelessness tax was a big win for Marc Benioff, but legal challenges may be coming," 8 Nov. 2018 No public uprising forced Jackson to comply, and the Court’s ruling basically became moot. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "Brett Kavanaugh and the Supreme Court’s looming legitimacy crisis," 24 Sep. 2018 But the structure would be moot if the game wasn't already a phenomenon. Eric Van Allen, WIRED, "Live on ESPN: Is Esports Finally Ready for Its Crossover Moment?," 11 July 2018 The Times has pointed out that to some extent this protest becomes moot once either of Fox’s two corporate suitors, Disney and Comcast, wins the bidding war to buy most of the Murdochs’ entertainment assets. Frank Rich, Daily Intelligencer, "The Shameless Fakery of Trump’s Retreat on Family Separations," 21 June 2018 The state Supreme Court completed the last order of business Thursday, dismissing a now moot appeal. Fox News, "Woman who spent 42 years in prison over fatal fire is free," 11 May 2018 All that said, if Mom doesn’t usually have trouble finishing her wine—or prefers the boxed variety or some other beverage category all together—all of this becomes a bit moot. Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica, "The Ars Technica Mother’s Day gift guide," 7 May 2018 The schools are a moot issue now: The town's high school closed in 2004, Ryland said, and the elementary school in 2014. Author: Richard Fausset, Anchorage Daily News, "A dying town needed a miracle. Marijuana came calling.," 29 Mar. 2018 The debate over Orkambi may soon become moot — earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration approved a new cystic fibrosis drug, also made by Vertex. Katie Thomas, New York Times, "A Drug Costs $272,000 a Year. Not So Fast, Says New York State.," 24 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Court’s decision was moot since most utilities had already decided to close or spend hundreds of millions of dollars to refurbish coal plants to comply. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "A New Cost-Benefit Regulation Test," 1 Oct. 2018 Two sizes of device have been mooted, priced at $300 and $400 appropriately. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Facebook’s Echo Show rival could be announced next week," 21 Sep. 2018 This broader language neatly moots a raging argument within the climate community. David Roberts, Vox, "California is this close to its boldest energy target yet: 100% clean electricity," 31 Aug. 2018 The 27-year-old has been linked with a move away from the bet365 Stadium since Stoke were relegated from the Premier League, with a move back to former employers Galatasaray mooted, despite Ndiaye only leaving the Türk Telekom Stadium in January. SI.com, "Galatasaray Deal Blow to Wantaway Stoke City Star After Club President Admits Wage Demands Problem," 9 July 2018 Mr Pompeo has mooted a slightly longer timetable: by January 2021. The Economist, "North Korea presents nuclear disarmament’s biggest challenge yet," 5 July 2018 Earlier this year, Tottenham Hotspur were linked with a move by The Sun with a move also mooted for their North London rivals Arsenal. SI.com, "Stuttgart Insist French Starlet Benjamin Pavard Will Not Be Sold This Summer Amid Arsenal Interest," 3 July 2018 Chelsea were mooting £20m as an asking price, and he's proven to be a success already in black and white under Benitez. SI.com, "Mike Ashley Must Be Proactive if He Wants Rafa Benitez to Sign a New Contract at Newcastle," 11 July 2018 Other options mooted have included setting up tent cities in the nearby desert, which would offer an economical sense of adventure, if not ultimate luxury. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Qatar is the World Cup every fan should attend," 13 July 2018

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

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

History and Etymology for moot

Adjective

see moot entry 3

Verb

see moot entry 3

Noun

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

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Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for moot

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

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More Definitions for moot

moot

verb

English Language Learners Definition of moot

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to introduce (an idea, subject, etc.) for discussion

moot

adjective

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

: not certain : argued about but not possible for people to prove

: not worth talking about : no longer important or worth discussing

\ˈmüt \

Legal Definition of moot 

(Entry 1 of 2)

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

moot

adjective

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

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

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