\ 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 \ ˈmȯth-​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 first clue came while looking at museum moth specimens for a different research project. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "These Nocturnal Moths Sparkle at Night," 3 Jan. 2020 Tiger moth species that contain bad tasting and toxic compounds are nonchalant in the presence of bats, while edible moth species evade their predators. Susanne Bard, Scientific American, "Moths Flee or Face Bats Depending on Toxicity," 19 Dec. 2019 Find out what happens at this hilarious puppet show -- and see if this moth can go the distance. Mary Jane Brewer, cleveland, "Don’t hibernate: Join in the January fun at the Medina County Parks," 6 Dec. 2019 Dziedzic’s introduction covers the basic science of butterflies and moths, which includes how these insects differ, their lifecycles, anatomy and family structure. Sally Peterson, oregonlive, "Gardener gift idea: ‘Raising Butterflies’ book," 9 Dec. 2019 Ives said holly flowers are a source of pollen and nectar for wasps, bees, butterflies, and moths, which act as pollinators for holly., "From Christmas decorations to classic holiday songs like “Deck The Halls,” holly is a traditional part of the Christmas season. It’s pointy-edged, dark green leaves and bright red berries are commonly used to make festive looking wreaths that adorn doorways and windows this time of year.," 5 Dec. 2019 Officials said a Hokkaido gypsy moth trapped in Woodway this summer was the first Hokkaido moth caught in the U.S. USA TODAY, "Rosa Parks statue, newborn polar bear cub, quake rocks Oregon: News from around our 50 states," 2 Dec. 2019 Among these critters are vampire moths, which can pierce the thick skins of buffalo and elephants. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Why the World Needs Bloodsucking Creatures," 2 Dec. 2019 Together the researchers traced the optical effects to nano-sized scales in the moths' wings. Harini Barath, Scientific American, "Nocturnal Moth Species Has a Flashy Secret," 23 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for moth

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for moth

Last Updated

16 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Moth.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 17 January 2020.

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More Definitions for moth


How to pronounce moth (audio)

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

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a plan in which a last survivor takes all

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