\ 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

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 It’s actually the caterpillar stage of the moth that is known for its voracious and harmful appetite. Sarah Bowman, The Indianapolis Star, 19 Sep. 2022 Lee-Curtis is like a moth to a flame, burnt by the fire. Jordan Moreau, Variety, 5 Sep. 2022 Nearly one million of those acres was in Michigan alone, where the moth has a strong presence. Sarah Bowman, The Indianapolis Star, 19 Sep. 2022 Wikelski, a migration researcher with the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, flew the moth-tracking airplane. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 8 Sep. 2022 The project’s task force was also responsible for renaming the Lymantria dispar, the spongy moth. New York Times, 27 July 2022 These designs startle a predator into rethinking an attack, allowing escape or making the moth appear too big to handle. Miri Talabac, Baltimore Sun, 21 July 2022 Only the white witch moth (Thysania agrippina) has a larger wingspan, at around 14 inches. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Aug. 2022 And a gigantic moth was seen in the U.S. for possibly the first time ever. Laura L. Davis, USA TODAY, 18 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

3 Oct 2022

Cite this Entry

“Moth.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for moth


\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on moth

Nglish: Translation of moth for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of moth for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about moth


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