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

The bistro was slated to be razed, but everything else would remain, staging an awkward confrontation between Berlin’s new ethos and its musty socialist past. Elisabeth Zerofsky, The New Yorker, "The Causes and Consequences of Berlin’s Rapid Gentrification," 12 July 2019 The algae often have a distinct musty smell and sometimes look like paint floating on water, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NBC News, "Toxic algae blooms force Mississippi to close all mainland beaches," 8 July 2019 As for those musty old debates about the First Folio and other texts, kiss ’em goodbye. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "“Yesterday” Wants to Hold Your Hand," 28 June 2019 What’s so extraordinary is that the entire home is a musty time capsule, seemingly untouched since the acclaimed showman suffered a fatal heart attack in Firefly’s shower and died on the bed. Norma Meyer, San Diego Union-Tribune, "James Bond’s Jamaican roots," 13 June 2019 The vault fire was not, as UMG suggested, a minor mishap, a matter of a few tapes stuck in a musty warehouse. New York Times, "The Day the Music Burned," 11 June 2019 Her fragrance became musty, ordinary, melting into the house’s stale atmosphere until the woman was nearly invisible to the animal. Dan Chiasson, The New York Review of Books, "True Mirages," 6 June 2019 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

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

20 Jul 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

Comments on musty

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