musty

adjective
\ ˈmə-stē How to pronounce musty (audio) \
mustier; mustiest

Definition of musty

1a : impaired by damp or mildew : moldy old musty books musty hay
b : tasting of mold musty wine
c : smelling of damp and decay : fusty The cellar was musty.
2a : trite, stale musty prose
b(1) : antiquated musty customs
(2) : superannuated musty slang

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Other Words from musty

mustily \ ˈmə-​stə-​lē How to pronounce mustily (audio) \ adverb
mustiness \ ˈmə-​stē-​nəs How to pronounce mustiness (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for musty

malodorous, stinking, fetid, noisome, putrid, rank, fusty, musty mean bad-smelling. malodorous may range from the unpleasant to the strongly offensive. malodorous fertilizers stinking and fetid suggest the foul or disgusting. prisoners were held in stinking cells the fetid odor of skunk cabbage noisome adds a suggestion of being harmful or unwholesome as well as offensive. a stagnant, noisome sewer putrid implies particularly the sickening odor of decaying organic matter. the putrid smell of rotting fish rank suggests a strong unpleasant smell. rank cigar smoke fusty and musty suggest lack of fresh air and sunlight, fusty also implying prolonged uncleanliness, musty stressing the effects of dampness, mildew, or age. a fusty attic the musty odor of a damp cellar

Examples of musty in a Sentence

a dark and musty basement the musty prose of writers who use the same expressions over and over

Recent Examples on the Web

Lynne Patton was in the musty basement of the Patterson Houses next to a rusted cabinet and a bucket of fetid standing water and no longer flashing her customary wide smile. Melanie Grayce West, WSJ, "A HUD Official Gets a First-Hand Look at NYCHA’s Woes," 19 Feb. 2019 Follow the pros' advice Choose compost that has a loose texture, is dark brown or black, and has an earthy or musty smell (no ammonia or sewer odor). Leah Zerbe, Good Housekeeping, "The Right Way To Buy Quality Organic Compost For Your Garden," 27 July 2017 The unmarked, slightly musty room next to the Swedish ambassador’s office in Pyongyang’s diplomatic quarter has been kept in an odd state of limbo for years. Eric Talmadge, The Seattle Times, "Swedes keep room ready for US diplomats in Pyongyang," 25 Mar. 2019 Its exhibit rooms had a vacant and sometimes musty feel. Paulo Trevisani, WSJ, "A Symbol of Brazil’s Indifference to History," 7 Sep. 2018 To be sure the seeds are fresh, take a sniff; look for alternatives if the millet smells stale or musty rather than slightly nutty. Ashleigh Spitza, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Millet, the underdog of grains, packs a punch of nutrients," 11 Apr. 2018 How to Get Rid of Bedroom Odors After a few years (albeit months), your mattress may start to smell musty. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "How to Get Rid of Unwanted Odors in Your House," 29 Nov. 2018 But that story was now a day old, a musty chyron at this point. Mark Leibovich, New York Times, "The Risky Business of Speaking for President Trump," 23 May 2018 The duo visit the musty apartment of a reclusive language tutor, the elegant suite of a physicist in the employ of the U.S. government, and the shadowy ghetto lair of a brutal young hoodlum. Tom Nolan, WSJ, "Mysteries: Tales of Three Blood-Soaked Cities," 30 Nov. 2018

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

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First Known Use of musty

1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for musty

must entry 4

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Dictionary Entries near musty

must-have

mustn't

must-see

musty

Musulman

mut

muta

Statistics for musty

Last Updated

11 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for musty

The first known use of musty was in 1530

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More Definitions for musty

musty

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of musty

: having a bad smell because of wetness, old age, or lack of fresh air

musty

adjective
\ ˈmə-stē How to pronounce musty (audio) \
mustier; mustiest

Kids Definition of musty

: smelling of dampness, decay, or lack of fresh air a musty basement

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More from Merriam-Webster on musty

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with musty

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for musty

Spanish Central: Translation of musty

Nglish: Translation of musty for Spanish Speakers

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