\ 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 Pressure-wash decks, patios, and hardscaping to clear off the slippery algae and moss that grew over winter. Heather Arndt Anderson, Sunset Magazine, "Clear Decks, Fresh Mulch, Can’t Lose: Our Garden Spring Cleaning Guide," 10 Mar. 2020 The kittens are born in a den, which the mother lines with vegetation such as grass, leaves, or moss. Don Lyman,, "Now seen in the suburbs: the elusive bobcat," 29 Jan. 2020 At the pool’s edge, mosses fur the stones in newborn green, and white flowers bloom, their perfume carried lightly on the vapor cast off by the waterfall. Seija Rankin,, "Read an exclusive excerpt of Saint X, the buzzy new novel about a missing teenager," 22 Jan. 2020 Also on hand was a plant-decorating bar, where attendees received a potted aloe plant and filled the pot with quartz stones, pink sand and colorful moss to fit the au naturale theme of the makeup collection. Lindsay Weinberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "Inside Lili Reinhart's Launch Party for Covergirl's Clean Beauty Collection," 17 Jan. 2020 Watering the lawn after applying the Moss-Out or applying it just before a rain would both increase the activity of the Moss-Out on the moss (a good thing) and further reduce any chance of injury to the clover. oregonlive, "Ask an expert: Wait to prune boxwood until threat of frost has passed," 8 Mar. 2020 Ruby Prosser Scully at New Scientist reports that the researchers found a species called Sphagnum affine, or bog moss, in Ötzi’s colon. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Mosses Expand the Story of Ötzi the Iceman’s Final Journey," 1 Nov. 2019 The new Infinite Candle is available in Year & Day's four signature hues: Daybreak: tuberose, jasmine, orange blossom, lemon; Fog: sea salt, sage, eucalyptus; Moon: rosemary, lavender, mint, moss; and Midnight: cedarwood, vetiver, smoke, rose. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "Year & Day's New Scented Candles Will Make Your Home a Sanctuary," 17 Oct. 2019 Grow mosses or succulents successfully in this modern and cute-looking structure, which is also great for kids’ rooms or as a desk accessory. Popular Science, "Innovative planters to make your home a cozy jungle," 7 Feb. 2020

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

27 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Moss.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Apr. 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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