\ 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 moss (audio) \ adjective

Examples of moss in a Sentence

Noun Moss covered the fallen logs.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun More wildfires, too, will melt the permafrost by burning off moss and other organic matter that sits atop the frozen soil and keeps it from warming up. Matt Simon, Wired, "More Lightning in the Arctic Is Bad News for the Planet," 7 Apr. 2021 What’s left is a beautiful three-acre pond, covered with a floating moss mat, surrounded by wetlands and forests., "5 boardwalks to elevate the hiking experience," 2 Apr. 2021 And that place is Minnesota's ancient wetlands, full of moss, shrubs and, most importantly, decaying plant matter from past growing seasons. Sharyn Jackson, Star Tribune, "3 local whiskeys that show off the creativity of Twin Cities microdistilleries," 23 Mar. 2021 Beer Garden has notes of green moss and the scents of tropical sunscreens, cracked wood and a buttery fresh-baked pretzel. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Miller Lite is making candles that smell like a dive bar and other places you might miss; proceeds go to hospitality industry," 23 Mar. 2021 After notifying local officials, USGS fisheries biologist Wesley Daniel took a trip to a pet store in Florida only to discover a zebra mussel in a moss ball there too, suggesting the issue was widespread. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Officials Say Invasive Zebra Mussels Are Hiding in Aquarium Decor Sold Across U.S.," 12 Mar. 2021 These moss ball shipments have been coming from Ukraine, which is native habitat for zebra mussels, according to Wesley Daniel, a fisheries biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. Sarah Bowman, The Indianapolis Star, "Have an aquarium? Here are the 5 things to know about invasive zebra mussels in moss balls," 12 Mar. 2021 The moss balls were sold at stores including Petco and PetSmart. Laura Schulte, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Make sure to check your moss balls: Invasive zebra mussels hitch a ride to Wisconsin inside popular aquarium plant," 10 Mar. 2021 The kitchen is inspired by The Krusty Krab, home of the famous Krabby Patty, and comes adorned with plenty of sea moss. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, "Spongebob's Pineapple Under the Sea Exists in Real Life — and First Responders Are Invited to Stay," 10 Mar. 2021

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

17 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Moss.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for moss



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

Nglish: Translation of moss for Spanish Speakers

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

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