\ˈmȯth \
plural moths\ˈmȯt͟hz, ˈmȯths \

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 \ adjective
mothy \ˈmȯ-thē \ adjective

Examples of moth in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The University of Florida notes the puss caterpillar, which turns into the southern flannel moth, is one of the most venomous caterpillars in the United States. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "Caterpillar Sends Teen to Hospital in "Worst Pain He's Ever Felt"," 22 June 2018 What’s the difference between moths and butterflies, in evolutionary terms? Anna Diamond, Smithsonian, "What’s the Difference Between Moths and Butterflies and More Questions From Our Readers," 19 Apr. 2018 Some of the most popular items on birds' menus include beetles, flies, ants, moths, aphids, grasshoppers and crickets. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Yum! Birds eat up to 550 million tons of insects each year," 9 July 2018 The bright lights of the Warriors lured Cousins like a 275-pound moth. Scott Ostler,, "Light years? Warriors blast into new realm with DeMarcus Cousins," 2 July 2018 For a night-flying moth, though, that is not an option. The Economist, "The first clear evidence of a sense of magnetism in insects," 21 June 2018 Wasps are notorious predators of agricultural pests, including whiteflies, aphids, moths, beetles and plant lice. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "Five Real Life Wasp Superpowers Not in Ant-Man and the Wasp," 22 Mar. 2018 During their lifetimes, bogong moths that survive to do so will make a pair of 1,000km journeys. The Economist, "The first clear evidence of a sense of magnetism in insects," 21 June 2018 National Moth Week offers everyone, everywhere a unique opportunity to become a Citizen Scientist and contribute scientific data about moths. Community Report, Houston Chronicle, "Moth Night Out at Trinity River Refuge, July 21," 24 June 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

9 Oct 2018

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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 \
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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Comments on moth

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not any or not one

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