reindeer moss


: a gray, erect, tufted, and much-branched lichen (Cladonia rangiferina) that forms extensive patches in arctic and north-temperate regions, constitutes a large part of the food of caribou, and is sometimes eaten by humans

called also reindeer lichen

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Place upside down in a tall urn filled with reindeer moss ($7, Michaels) by your front door. Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, 12 Sep. 2022 After dark, a wall lined with evergreen boxwoods and reindeer moss becomes illuminated with twinkling lights, intended to look like fireflies. Kara Baskin,, 28 Feb. 2022 Lightly stuff the base and cone with reindeer moss. Deanna Kizis, Sunset Magazine, 6 Dec. 2021 There’s a 128-foot-long fog corridor, a wall of reindeer moss imported from Finland, a 36-foot waterfall and an intriguing Lego station that uses a ton of white bricks. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, 10 July 2019 The organic feel of the piece fits in perfectly at Noma, where chef René Redzepi pioneered foraging for underused local ingredients such as sea buckthorn and reindeer moss. James Clasper, New York Times, 13 June 2018

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

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1753, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of reindeer moss was circa 1753

Dictionary Entries Near reindeer moss

Cite this Entry

“Reindeer moss.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

reindeer moss

: a gray lichen of northern regions that has many branches and is an important food for caribou

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