\ 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 Barber, who has studied bats and moths for years, was involved in the new study. National Geographic, "Why are these dogs good soldiers?," 31 Oct. 2019 There are also blood-loving snails, fish and moths. James Gorman, New York Times, "Meet the Bloodsuckers," 28 Oct. 2019 But what made the moths seek a different life for themselves in the first place? Sarah Todd, Quartz at Work, "A new theory on how moths evolved into butterflies is also a lesson in career changes," 23 Oct. 2019 Sheffield United forward Oli McBurnie will appear in court next moth after being charged with drink driving in Leeds in the early hours of Friday 18 October after a night out., "Sheffield United Striker Oli McBurnie Charged With Drink Driving," 21 Oct. 2019 Nonetheless, fans flocked to the Ocean View stage like so many tripping-out moths to a flame to take on the set’s moody lighting and cerebral, slow burning builds. Andrea Domanick, Billboard, "The Best & Worst of CRSSD 2019, a Boutique Electronic Festival for the Streaming Era," 3 Oct. 2019 The winter moths feast on the white oaks from which the tribe once picked acorns to supplement the corn harvest., "A short documentary exploring climate change on Cape Cod," 26 Sep. 2019 Hulu with Live TV is the perfect option for any existing Hulu customers who love the streaming service and want to add extra channels to their package, for $44.99 per moth. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "How to Watch the Emmys on Your Laptop, Phone, or Even Your TV," 22 Sep. 2019 Usually, blue orchids are produced from the Phalaenopsis species also known as the moth orchid. Tom Maccubbin,, "Trim viburnum hedges in next few weeks," 21 Sep. 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

20 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Moth.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 13 December 2019.

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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

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


easily led, controlled, or managed

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