\ 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

Syphilis in its late stages, for instance, can cause small brain tumors that result in moth hole-like craters in the skull. Washington Post, "Estimated 7,000 bodies may be buried at former asylum," 23 May 2018 Ryan, trying to capture it on video for our audience, stayed up until 2 A.M. waiting for the moth to return . . . Sulagna Misra, Vanities, "“Plant People Are Rarely Bullies”: The Leafy, Zen Corner of the Internet That Is Plant Instagram," 1 June 2018 The sparkles are like a moth to a flame: people can’t help but comment on the shoes. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Men In Heels? I Put the Tricky Trend to the Test," 26 Feb. 2019 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

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

19 Jun 2019

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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 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

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behavior toward others

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