moist

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English moiste (moist, wet", also "fresh), from Anglo-Norman moiste and Middle French moiste (damp, mouldy, wet), of obscure origin and formation. Perhaps from a late variant of Latin mūcidus (slimy, musty) combined with a reflex of Latin mustum (must).

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

moist (comparative moister or more moist, superlative moistest or most moist)

  1. Slightly wet; characterised by the presence of moisture, not dry; damp. [from 14th c.]
    • 1937, "Modernist Miracle", Time, 1 Nov 1937:
      Joseph Smith, a diffident, conscientious young man with moist hands and an awkward, absent-minded manner, was head gardener at Wotton Vanborough.
    • 2011, Dominic Streatfeild, The Guardian, 7 Jan 2011:
      "The other car didn't explode," continues Shujaa. "The explosives were a bit moist. They had been stored in a place that was too humid."
  2. Of eyes: tearful, wet with tears. [from 14th c.]
    • 1974, "Mitchell and Stans: Not Guilty", Time, 6 Dec 1974:
      Eyes moist, he hugged one of his attorneys and later said: "I feel like I've been reborn."
  3. Of weather, climate etc.: rainy, damp. [from 14th c.]
    • 2008, Graham Harvey, The Guardian, 8 Sep 2008:
      With its mild, moist climate, Britain is uniquely placed to grow good grass.
  4. (sciences, now historical) Pertaining to one of the four essential qualities formerly believed to be present in all things, characterised by wetness. [from 14th c.]
    • 1621, Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy:
      Pituita, or phlegm, is a cold and moist humour, begotten of the colder parts of the chylus [...].
  5. (obsolete) Watery, liquid, fluid. [14th-17th c.]
    • 1658, Sir Thomas Browne, Hydriotaphia:
      Some being of the opinion of Thales, that water was the originall of all things, thought it most equall to submit unto the principle of putrefaction, and conclude in a moist relentment.
  6. (medicine) Characterised by the presence of pus, mucus etc. [from 14th c.]
  7. (colloquial) Sexually lubricated (of the vagina); sexually aroused, turned on (of a woman). [from 20th c.]
    • 2008, Marcia King-Gamble, Meet Phoenix, p. 168:
      He slid a finger in me, checking to make sure I was moist and ready for him.

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