\ ˈməst How to pronounce musth (audio) \
variants: or less commonly must

Definition of musth

: a periodic state of the bull elephant characterized especially by aggressive behavior and usually connected with the rutting season

Examples of musth in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The elephants are only chained, said Visit, when males become aggressive due to a rise in reproductive hormones, a natural state known as musth. David Luekens, CNN, 21 Dec. 2021 Instead, a bull spends his annual two- or three-month stint of erotic drive searching for willing females in estrus, or fighting with other males in musth, all the while eating relatively little. New York Times, 3 June 2021 Bull elephants in musth can be aggressive and attack. New York Times, 24 Dec. 2020 The researchers were ostensibly trying to incite a state called musth: a period of intense aggression in bull elephants where testosterone spikes. Popular Science, 13 Feb. 2020 The onset of musth typically occurs when males are between 20 and 40 years old. Natasha Daly, National Geographic, 7 Aug. 2019 Males in musth are so attractive to females that almost 80 percent of calves in the same population are sired by them, according to a 2007 study. Grant Currin, National Geographic, 2 July 2019 Females live in matriarchal groups, and males tend to live in separate groups until going into musth. Grant Currin, National Geographic, 2 July 2019 Sometimes, elephants in musth are paraded in festivals. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, 13 June 2019 See More

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

First Known Use of musth

1878, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for musth

Hindi & Urdu mast intoxicated, from Persian

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Dictionary Entries Near musth

muster roll



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Cite this Entry

“Musth.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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