musty

adjective \ ˈməs-tē \

Definition of musty

mustier; mustiest
1 a :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.
2 a :trite, stale
  • musty prose
b (1) :antiquated
  • musty customs
(2) :superannuated
  • musty slang

mustily

play \ˈməs-tə-lē\ adverb

mustiness

play \-tē-nəs\ noun

Examples of musty in a Sentence

  1. a dark and musty basement

  2. the musty prose of writers who use the same expressions over and over

Recent Examples of musty from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of musty

Synonym Discussion of 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

MUSTY Defined for English Language Learners

musty

adjective

Definition of musty for English Language Learners

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


MUSTY Defined for Kids

musty

adjective \ ˈmə-stē \

Definition of musty for Students

mustier; mustiest
:smelling of dampness, decay, or lack of fresh air
  • a musty basement


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