\ ˈmȯs How to pronounce moss (audio) \

Definition of moss

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 chiefly Scotland : bog, swamp especially : a peat bog
2a : any of a class (Musci) of bryophytic plants characterized by a gametophyte having a small leafy often tufted stem bearing sex organs at its tip also : a clump or sward of these plants
b : any of various plants resembling moss in appearance or habit of growth
3 : a mossy covering


mossed; mossing; mosses

Definition of moss (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to cover or overgrow with moss

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Other Words from moss


mosslike \ ˈmȯs-​ˌlīk How to pronounce mosslike (audio) \ adjective

Examples of moss in a Sentence

Noun Moss covered the fallen logs.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Soon Kirra was sitting in the guest chair: a bunch of thick, soft moss that had been stuffed into the V created by two branches emerging from the trunk at the same spot. David Canfield,, "Dave Matthews teams with children's author Clete Barrett Smith for fantasy novel," 29 Jan. 2020 From there, the GRR1 heads northwest into a dense and impossibly wet woodland wreathed in arborescent ferns and carpeted with beds of moss two feet deep. Rowan Moore Gerety, New York Times, "Why Hiking Beats Surfing on Réunion Island (Hint: Sharks!)," 28 Dec. 2019 The lake’s famous blue hue is due to its remarkable purity, as algal growth is limited to thick belts of moss on the crater walls. Rob Davis | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Crater Lake National Park free snowshoeing tours start for 2019-20 season," 8 Dec. 2019 Over on the park’s supersaturated west side, the Hoh Valley is home to the park’s most enchanting forest, a mosaic of moss, ferns, and giant trees that really does look like something from a medieval fairytale (or Sasquatch movie). National Geographic, "A guide to Olympic National Park," 18 Apr. 2019 More so than any other animal on Earth, the water bear (aka tardigrade, aka moss piglet) doesn’t particularly appreciate dying. Matt Simon, Wired, "Even Ultra-Tough Water Bears May Be Vulnerable to Climate Change," 16 Jan. 2020 Philodendron headdresses, baby’s breath veils, a velvety moss bodice, a carnation gown. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "A Fashion-Inspired Flower Showcase Comes to Hudson Yards," 25 Oct. 2019 When the micro-animals, also known as water bears or moss piglets, were dumped into the atmosphere, there was no formal recourse to recover them, nor regulations in place to ensured the spacecraft was properly decontaminated. Monica Vidaurri, Quartz, "Humans will ruin outer space just like they’ve ruined everything else," 24 Oct. 2019 Lounge-style seating with low-tops is being used, and a living wall with moss lines the back of the long sleek bar. Marc Bona, cleveland, "Phunkenship set to open as Platform Beer Co.’s sour facility-taproom (photos, video)," 23 Oct. 2019

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


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


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for moss


Middle English, from Old English mos; akin to Old High German mos moss, Latin muscus

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Time Traveler for moss

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for moss

Last Updated

14 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

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

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More Definitions for moss


How to pronounce moss (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of moss

: a type of green plant that has very small leaves and no flowers and that grows on rocks, bark, or wet ground


\ ˈmȯs How to pronounce moss (audio) \

Kids Definition of moss

1 : a plant that has no flowers and grows as a small leafy stem in patches like cushions clinging to rocks, bark, or damp ground
2 : a plant or plantlike organism (as a lichen) resembling moss


\ ˈmȯs How to pronounce moss (audio) \

Medical Definition of moss

1 : any of a class (Musci) of bryophytic plants having a small leafy often tufted stem bearing sex organs at its tip — see sphagnum
2 : any of various plants resembling mosses in appearance or habit of growth — see club moss, iceland moss, irish moss

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More from Merriam-Webster on moss

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with moss

Spanish Central: Translation of moss

Nglish: Translation of moss for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of moss for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about moss

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