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chiefly Scotland : bog, swamp
especially : a peat bog
: 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
: any of various plants resembling moss in appearance or habit of growth
: a mossy covering
mosslike adjective


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mossed; mossing; mosses

transitive verb

: to cover or overgrow with moss

Examples of moss in a Sentence

Noun Moss covered the fallen logs.
Recent Examples on the Web
But in small quantities, daily sea moss consumption is typically considered safe. Jake Parks, Discover Magazine, 23 Oct. 2023 Pumpkins set atop urns and moss add height to the table without needing a large flower arrangement. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 29 Sep. 2023 Cut your own plants right below the node, package them up in a moisture-retaining material like some sphagnum moss or a wet paper towel, wrap them up in cling wrap, add a little bow, and voila—a bouquet of cuttings ready to propagate into more leafy little ones. Helen Bradshaw, Popular Science, 9 Nov. 2023 Or about the forty million years when moss dominated the planet? Rivka Galchen, The New Yorker, 6 Nov. 2023 The forest floor is alive with mushrooms, lichens, moss and fox droppings. William Booth, Washington Post, 31 Oct. 2023 Best fragrances for Pisces: The definition of a water sign, go for notes of driftwood and ocean breeze balanced by beach moss and orchid blooms for an ethereal touch. Bryce Jones, Better Homes & Gardens, 26 Oct. 2023 Sphagnum Moss by Travis Wagner Travis Wagner, a mechanical engineer at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, earned an honorable mention for his fluorescent image of sphagnum moss with two air bubbles. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 19 Oct. 2023 This fanny pack comes in 12 stylish colors, from onyx to camel, dune, dark moss, heather gray, and storm. Madison Yauger, Peoplemag, 26 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'moss.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


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


15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near moss

Cite this Entry

“Moss.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: any of a class of plants that have no flowers and produce small leafy stems forming sex organs at their tips and that grow in patches like cushions on rocks, bark, or damp ground
: any of various plants (as lichens) resembling mosses compare reindeer moss

Medical Definition


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

More from Merriam-Webster on moss

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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