plural moths ˈmȯt͟hz How to pronounce moth (audio) ˈmȯths How to pronounce moth (audio)
: any of various usually nocturnal lepidopteran insects with antennae that are often feathery, with a stouter body, duller coloring, and proportionately smaller wings than the butterflies, and with larvae that are plant-eating caterpillars
mothlike adjective
mothy adjective

Examples of moth in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Yet the only alternative in the U.S., made by the company Novavax, is grown in moth cells—which also contain DNA. Tanya Lewis, Scientific American, 4 Jan. 2024 The researchers used eight high-speed infrared cameras equipped with motion-capture technologies to track 30 insects from three moth and two dragonfly species. Rachel Nuwer, Scientific American, 30 Jan. 2024 In addition to mosquitoes, the trap works effectively on biting flies, wasps, and moths too. Kate Oczypok, Better Homes & Gardens, 4 Oct. 2023 Saddleback caterpillars are the larva of a species of moth belonging to the family Limacodidae. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, 19 Sep. 2023 Davidowitz’s research is based in Arizona, which is about the geographic midpoint of the moth’s range. Cari Spencer, Los Angeles Times, 1 Sep. 2023 Price at time of publish: $18 Product Details: Type: Light trap | Quantity: One | Indoor/Outdoor: Indoor | Target Species: Flies, fruit flies, drain flies, moths, and gnats The Rescue! Rachel Ahrnsen, Better Homes & Gardens, 6 Oct. 2023 Don’t let rotten apples spoil the whole barrel; instead, realize that moths will always be drawn to a flame. Meghan Rose, Glamour, 1 Oct. 2023 Ants, bees, flies, mosquitoes, moths—these very successful orders all undergo complete metamorphosis, and all have a common ancestor. Rivka Galchen, The New Yorker, 31 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'moth.' 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 mothe, from Old English moththe; akin to Middle High German motte moth

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near moth

Cite this Entry

“Moth.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


plural moths ˈmȯt͟hz How to pronounce moth (audio) ˈmȯths How to pronounce moth (audio)
: any of a group of night-flying insects that are lepidopterans often with duller coloring, stouter bodies, and smaller wings than the related butterflies and with antennae which are often feathery

More from Merriam-Webster on moth

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