motto

play
noun mot·to \ˈmä-(ˌ)tō\

Definition of motto

plural

mottoes

also

mottos

  1. 1 :  a sentence, phrase, or word inscribed on something as appropriate to or indicative of its character or use “The Crossroads of America” is the motto of the state of Indiana.

  2. 2 :  a short expression of a guiding principle “Hope for the best and prepare for the worst” is my motto.

Examples of motto in a Sentence

  1. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst is my motto.

  2. The Boy Scout motto is Be prepared.

Recent Examples of motto from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'motto.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of motto

Italian, from Late Latin muttum grunt, from Latin muttire to mutter


MOTTO Defined for English Language Learners

motto

play
noun

Definition of motto for English Language Learners

  • : a short sentence or phrase that expresses a rule guiding the behavior of a particular person or group


MOTTO Defined for Kids

motto

play
noun mot·to \ˈmä-tō\

Definition of motto for Students

plural

mottoes

  1. 1 :  a phrase or word inscribed on something (as a coin or public building) to suggest its use or nature

  2. 2 :  a short expression of a guiding rule of conduct The Boy Scout motto is “Be prepared.”



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

conspicuously offensive

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time-traveler-quiz-which-word-came-first
  • Which came first?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!