moot

adjective
\ 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

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

By that time, permanent fixes for EMALS’ reliability fixes could be available, rendering the whole conversion a moot point. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Trump Tells U.S. Navy to Go Back to Steam Catapults," 30 May 2019 The offensive display behind him was neither perfect nor a thing of beauty, but the particulars are almost moot. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros beat Mariners behind robust outing by Lance McCullers," 18 Apr. 2018 One of Egan’s arguments — that council members need more training about complying with the law — was deemed moot after the city informed Bradshaw all council members have since received more instruction. Lewis Kamb, The Seattle Times, "Lawsuit against Seattle over head-tax meetings moves forward, but repeal vote stands," 17 Nov. 2018 Here's why this discussion is currently moot in Chicago: Since 1945, the state of Illinois has required the city to indemnify police officers. Maya Dukmasova, Chicago Reader, "News / Criminal Justice Should Chicago cops have to carry misconduct insurance?," 29 June 2018 So far, a hodgepodge of factors have rendered special elections in other states moot in terms of using them for analysis in Ohio. Seth A. Richardson, cleveland.com, "Pennsylvania special election shows Ohio congressional districts could be competitive," 15 Mar. 2018 But players, in my experience, can still do enough damage quickly enough that the strategic significance is often moot, especially for lower-skill competitors. Julie Muncy, Ars Technica, "Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 review: War games, now with battle royale!," 19 Oct. 2018 Votto’s extra-base hit, therefore, rendered the play somewhat moot, anyway. Sam Mcdowell, kansascity, "Royals waste Ian Kennedy's best outing of 2018 in loss to Reds," 12 June 2018 Supporters said the financial impact of the tax exemption was moot, as the state will lose the tax revenue and much more if the plant closes. Ryan Randazzo, azcentral, "Coal won't face Arizona sales taxes after Gov. Ducey signs bill," 25 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But in counterinsurgency—that already-paradoxical quest to win hearts and minds at the ends of rifle muzzles—such draconian tactics moot the strategy. Adrian Bonenberger, The New Republic, "The Sum of All Beards," 4 June 2019 The 27-year-old enjoyed a promising first season in English football, with a swift return to the Premier League now being mooted following the Baggies relegation to the Championship. SI.com, "Tottenham Eyeing Up Move For Talented Egyptian Defender Amid Rumours of Alderweireld Departure," 24 May 2018 In the interim, however, the FCC under the leadership of Ajit Pai, whom President Trump appointed as chairman, rolled back the regulations, effectively mooting out the legal battle. Brent Kendall, WSJ, "Supreme Court Turns Away Challenges to Obama-Era Net Neutrality Rules," 5 Nov. 2018 Thus, a late move for 26-year-old Leno has been mooted as the Italians look to tempt him with Champions League football next season - an offer the Gunners cannot match. SI.com, "Arsenal Face Late Competition for Goalkeeping Target as Serie A Giants Look to Hijack £22m Deal," 16 June 2018 Since Frankfurt are reported to be mooting a €50m starting price, a move to England is understood to be the more likely option should Rebic leave Frankfurt this summer. SI.com, "Liverpool Among Premier League Trio Joining Spurs in Race to Sign Croatia World Cup Star," 11 July 2018 Shares in Cheniere rose 3% Tuesday following news that Chinese tariffs on U.S. LNG would be 10%, rather than the 25% originally mooted. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "Shell and Glencore Could Be Winners From Chinese Tariffs," 19 Sep. 2018 If cap and trade isn’t providing a hard cap, a guarantee, its advantages over a tax are mooted. David Roberts, Vox, "California’s cap-and-trade system may be too weak to do its job," 12 Dec. 2018 The higher tariffs being mooted on half, or nearly all, of America’s imports of Chinese goods would cause serious economic pain in both countries. The Economist, "Sino-American interdependence has been a force for geopolitical stability," 23 June 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

Noun, Adjective, and Verb

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

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Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

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

adjective

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

moot

verb

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

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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More from Merriam-Webster on moot

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with moot

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for moot

Spanish Central: Translation of moot

Nglish: Translation of moot for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of moot for Arabic Speakers

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