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

Examples of reindeer moss in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Reindeer subsist largely on light-colored reindeer moss, which isn’t actually a moss but rather a type of lichen that grows in crunchy, carpet-like patches across northern latitudes. Holly Ramer, Fortune, 24 Dec. 2023 Reindeer primarily feed on lichens in the winter, known as reindeer moss. Gabe Allen, Discover Magazine, 12 Dec. 2023 McCarthy bent down to inspect the moss that blanketed her unmarked grave and compared it to the lichen her family would have used in Alaska to feed reindeer, commonly called reindeer moss. Claire Healy, Washington Post, 14 Aug. 2023 Place upside down in a tall urn filled with reindeer moss ($7, Michaels) by your front door. Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, 10 Aug. 2023 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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'reindeer moss.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 16 Jul. 2024.

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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