variants or less commonly must
: 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 If resources are plentiful year round, males can go through musth at any time, and reproduction in those elephant populations can occur throughout the year. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, 3 May 2023 Mammoths With Musth Auchus also analyzed powder from a male African elephant and found annual testosterone spikes consistent with musth, as expected. Matt Hrodey, Discover Magazine, 3 May 2023 Evidence of the testosterone surge from musth is can be detected in the blood and urine tests of living elephants. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 3 May 2023 Researchers are also curious whether changes in musth over time could offer clues about what contributed to mammoths’ demise and eventual extinction roughly 4,000 years ago. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 4 May 2023 The findings provide what researchers believe to be the first direct evidence that, like elephants, mammoths also experienced musth. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 3 May 2023 And some fossils have preserved evidence of the male-on-male violence that typically happens during musth. Amber Dance, Discover Magazine, 27 Nov. 2018 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

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'musth.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Hindi & Urdu mast intoxicated, from Persian

First Known Use

1878, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of musth was in 1878

Dictionary Entries Near musth

Cite this Entry

“Musth.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

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