mor·​i·​bund | \ ˈmȯr-ə-(ˌ)bənd How to pronounce moribund (audio) , ˈmär- \

Definition of moribund

1 : being in the state of dying : approaching death in the moribund patient deepening stupor and coma are the usual preludes to death— Norman Cameron
2 : being in a state of inactivity or obsolescence a moribund virus a moribund volcano prune the moribund files from your disk forever— D. S. Janal

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Other Words from moribund

moribundity \ ˌmȯr-​ə-​ˈbən-​də-​tē How to pronounce moribundity (audio) , ˌmär-​ \ noun

Synonyms for moribund


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Moribund Gets Less Literal

Moribund is still sometimes used in its original literal sense of "approaching death", but it's much more often used to describe things. When the economy goes bad, we hear about moribund mills and factories and towns; the economy itself may even be called moribund. Critics may speak of the moribund state of poetry, or lament the moribund record or newspaper industry.

Examples of moribund in a Sentence

an actor who is trying to revive his moribund career The peace talks are moribund.
Recent Examples on the Web Certainly, there are more tactful ways to excite a moribund fan base than to sideswipe the previous regime. Paul Daugherty,, "Doc's Morning Line: Hold on, Mobsters. Today, we're tossing it around the horn.," 12 Feb. 2020 Bob Wilson went to work for a dynamo named Ralph Rogers, a business leader and the board chairman of KERA-TV, a moribund anti-enterprise that was barely breathing on Harry Hines Boulevard. Lee Cullum, Dallas News, "A Dallas journalist recalls Jim Lehrer’s impact on her career — and life," 6 Feb. 2020 The disaster is the latest setback in efforts to revive a section of historic Canal Street that had been economically moribund despite its proximity to the Quarter. Washington Post, "Search continues, hope diminishes at hotel collapse site," 15 Oct. 2019 Sales of the iPhone rebounded after several quarters of moribund growth; Apple is expected to release its first 5G phones later this year. The Economist, "Business this week," 1 Feb. 2020 About one mile from where the Beer Garden once stood, Cronin has embarked on an ambitious plan to turn a moribund parcel at 24 Drydock Avenue into a gleaming, 123,000-square-foot structure, with ample room for labs and high-tech firms. Jon Chesto,, "Beyond restaurants: Jon Cronin scores victories at City Hall, State House in new ventures," 23 Jan. 2020 With Obama’s legislative agenda largely moribund, Republican attorneys general and their allies took aim at his policy initiatives within the executive branch. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "A Decade of Legal Warfare Has Warped America’s Future," 30 Dec. 2019 Their last week was a win over the moribund Cal offense. Jeremy Cluff, azcentral, "Arizona vs. Oregon State picks, predictions: Can Wildcats get Pac-12 win vs. Beavers?," 30 Oct. 2019 The Panthers turned to Kyle Allen when a foot injury sidelined Cam Newton on Sunday, and the former undrafted free agent sparked what had been a moribund offense in a win in Arizona. Brad Biggs,, "NFL power rankings for Week 4: The Bears move up — but so does the rest of the NFC North," 24 Sep. 2019

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

circa 1721, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for moribund

Latin moribundus, from mori to die — more at murder

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Time Traveler for moribund

Time Traveler

The first known use of moribund was circa 1721

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Statistics for moribund

Last Updated

19 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Moribund.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for moribund


How to pronounce moribund (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of moribund

: no longer active or effective : close to failure
: very sick : close to death


mor·​i·​bund | \ ˈmȯr-ə-(ˌ)bənd, ˈmär- How to pronounce moribund (audio) \

Medical Definition of moribund

: being in the state of dying : approaching death in the moribund patient deepening stupor and coma are the usual preludes to death— Norman Cameron

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Spanish Central: Translation of moribund

Nglish: Translation of moribund for Spanish Speakers

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