\ ˈmȯth How to pronounce moth (audio) \
plural moths\ ˈmȯt͟hz How to pronounce moths (audio) , ˈmȯths How to pronounce moths (audio) \

Definition of moth

2 : 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

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Other Words from moth

mothlike \ -​ˌlīk How to pronounce mothlike (audio) \ adjective
mothy \ ˈmȯ-​thē How to pronounce mothy (audio) \ adjective

Examples of moth in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The pink bollworm moth has been eradicated after ravaging U.S. cotton crops for more than a century. Jennifer Smith, WSJ, "Today’s Logistics Report: Trucking’s Pricing Push; Shipping Heads Onshore; Fast-Tracking Union Pacific," 26 Oct. 2018 Trainer Steve Donohue tended to Dreckman as the umpire removed the moth. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Umpire stops Yankees-White Sox game to remove insect from his ear," 9 Aug. 2018 My salvation came in the form of a fluffy, anxious, wide-eyed kitten with a penchant for chasing moths and stealing my hairbands. Sian Ferguson, Good Housekeeping, "Why Adopting My Anxious Kitten Was The Best Thing I Ever Did For My Mental Health," 9 June 2017 Moth Lamp Perhaps the most bewilderingly entertaining online trend of the year was the Internet's absurd fixation with moths. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "22 Memes That Made 2018 Less Horrible," 17 Dec. 2018 One of the more surprising finds reported in the book was a lovely little moth never described before in the Northwest. Sandi Doughton, The Seattle Times, "What’s that bug? New Northwest field guide makes it easy to find out," 20 Aug. 2018 Wednesday night's game between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox had to be briefly stopped after a moth apparently flew into the left ear of second base umpire Bruce Dreckman. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Umpire stops Yankees-White Sox game to remove insect from his ear," 9 Aug. 2018 And then another well is represented by the genius of Townes Van Zandt, which has drawn him like a moth to a flame, egging him on and daring him. Corey Seymour, Vogue, "Ethan Hawke On Blaze, Outlaw Music, and the Dangers of Living Creatively," 6 Sep. 2018 Your light gives people life and this is sure to attract lovers like a moth to a flame! Ashley Otero, Teen Vogue, "Who You Should Date, Based on Your Horoscope," 20 Aug. 2018

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

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

History and Etymology for moth

Middle English mothe, from Old English moththe; akin to Middle High German motte moth

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Dictionary Entries near moth






mothball fleet

moth bean

Statistics for moth

Last Updated

27 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for moth

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

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More Definitions for moth



English Language Learners Definition of moth

: a kind of insect that is similar to a butterfly but that flies mostly at night and is usually less colorful


\ ˈmȯth How to pronounce moth (audio) \
plural moths\ ˈmȯt͟hz , ˈmȯths \

Kids Definition of moth

: an insect that usually flies at night and has mostly feathery antennae and stouter body, duller coloring, and smaller wings than the related butterflies

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More from Merriam-Webster on moth

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with moth

Spanish Central: Translation of moth

Nglish: Translation of moth for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on moth

What made you want to look up moth? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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