\ 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

Despite the male—or bull—elephant's seemingly playful behavior, the video also suggests the animal is in a period of musth. National Geographic, "Watch: Elephant 'Plays' With a Police Car and a Pack of Wild Dogs," 28 July 2017 When the elephants come out of their musth, the mahouts believe the elephants have forgotten their commands. National Geographic, "New Film Shows Brutalization of Temple Elephants in India," 25 May 2016

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about musth

Statistics for musth

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for musth

The first known use of musth was in 1878

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on musth

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with musth Encyclopedia article about musth

Comments on musth

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


the range of authority or knowledge

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Add Diction

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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