moth

noun
\ ˈmȯth How to pronounce moth (audio) \
plural moths\ ˈmȯt͟hz How to pronounce moth (audio) , ˈmȯths How to pronounce moth (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 moth (audio) \ adjective
mothy \ ˈmȯ-​thē How to pronounce moth (audio) \ adjective

Examples of moth in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Since it was first noticed in Berks County, Pennsylvania, in 2014, the spotted lanternfly—a one-inch-long plant hopper that resembles a moth and is native to China—has been wreaking havoc on East Coast lumber, tree fruit and wine industries. Claire Marie Porter, Scientific American, "How You Can Help Stop Invasive Spotted Lanternflies," 24 Dec. 2020 Elvis' death and the moth's waterboarding both took place on Aug. 16, 1977. Star Tribune, "The day Elvis died, that was just part of the story in Baltimore," 16 Jan. 2021 Earl protested vigorously that the moth-in-ear delay was taking too long. Star Tribune, "The day Elvis died, that was just part of the story in Baltimore," 16 Jan. 2021 Anderson and her colleagues went a step further and programmed the Smellicopter to hunt for odors just like an actual moth would. Matt Simon, Wired, "This Drone Sniffs Out Odors With a Real Moth Antenna," 4 Jan. 2021 In order to create a sort of moth-drone cyborg, mechanical engineer Melanie Anderson of the University of Washington cold-anesthetized a hawk moth in a freezer before removing its antennae. Matt Simon, Wired, "This Drone Sniffs Out Odors With a Real Moth Antenna," 4 Jan. 2021 This species of aquatic moth is not alone in its travails—other wasp species menace other aquatic caterpillars. Matt Simon, Wired, "‘Godzilla’ Wasp Swims—So Its Young Can Burst Out of Caterpillars," 9 Nov. 2020 The larvae of the crown moth are also white with a tan head, and 16 to 25 millimeters long at full maturity. oregonlive, "Want more flowers on dahlia plantings? Ask an expert," 24 Oct. 2020 Spiders, beetles, fleas and butterflies took center stage this year, from the fifth-place profile of a bogong moth to a stern-looking portrait of a red soldier beetle. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "From a Zebrafish to Nylon Stockings, See This Year’s Small World Photography Winners," 15 Oct. 2020

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

17 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Moth.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/moth. Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for moth

moth

noun

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

moth

noun
\ 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

Nglish: Translation of moth for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of moth for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about moth

Comments on moth

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