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 moribund (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 In 1979, he was hired to take over a moribund Miami program that had not won more than six games in a season in more than a decade. Creg Stephenson |, al, "Former Miami Hurricanes coach Howard Schnellenberger dead at 87," 27 Mar. 2021 At Miami, Schnellenberger took over in 1979 amid debate about whether the moribund program should fold. Steven Wine,, "Former Baltimore Colts coach Howard Schnellenberger, 87, dies," 27 Mar. 2021 The adventure game genre has been moribund for years, but the arrival of tools such as Adventure Game Studio has created a flourishing indie scene. Geek's Guide To The Galaxy, WIRED, "It’s Never Been Easier to Make an Adventure Game," 26 Mar. 2021 That’s a reasonable goal for a Texas team led by Collier, projected to go No. 1 in this year’s WNBA draft, and a coaching staff that once turned a moribund Mississippi State program into a perennial national title contender. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, "Texas can make some noise in NCAA women's tournament," 20 Mar. 2021 Labor, Israel’s former governing party, was thought to be moribund before Michaeli revived it this year. Ben Sales,, "Reform rabbi is first to serve in Israel’s Knesset," 25 Mar. 2021 Israel views Jerusalem as its unified capital and the West Bank as a special case whose future status should be decided in negotiations with the Palestinians, which have been moribund for more than a decade. Joseph Krauss, Star Tribune, "ICC gives Israel month to seek deferral of war crimes probe," 18 Mar. 2021 Though the city’s office market is moribund now, the developers are betting that times will be different when the Power Station comes online in five or six years. Carl Nolte, San Francisco Chronicle, "Power Station project to energize part of S.F. closed to public for 150 years," 6 Mar. 2021 The pandemic has battered already moribund economies. Los Angeles Times, "Biden’s bind: Dismantling Trump immigration policies without sparking a border rush," 6 Mar. 2021

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

10 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Moribund.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for moribund



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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