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  • IPA(key): /ˈmuːnʃaɪn/
  • Hyphenation: moon‧shine


moon +‎ shine. Illegally distilled liquor is so named because its manufacture may be conducted without artificial light at night-time.


moonshine ‎(countable and uncountable, plural moonshines)

  1. (literally) The light of the moon; moonlight.
  2. Illegally distilled liquor.
    They watered down the moonshine.
    • 1920, Peter B. Kyne, The Understanding Heart, Chapter IV
      “Wish I'd been more polite to that girl,” the sheriff remarked regretfully. “ I ain't had a bite to eat since four o'clock this morning, and I'm hungry as a wolverine. … I know she'd have give me another drink of that old moonshine she has.”
  3. (colloquial) nonsense
    He was talking moonshine.
    • 2012, David Attenborough, interview.[1]
      "We forget what we have learned in the last 60 years. At university I once asked one of my lecturers why he was not talking to us about continental drift and I was told, sneeringly, that if I could I prove there was a force that could move continents, then he might think about it. The idea was moonshine, I was informed."
  4. (mathematics) A branch of pure mathematics relating the Monster group to an invariant of elliptic functions.
  5. (US) A spiced dish of eggs and fried onions.
  6. (obsolete) A month.
    • c. 1605, William Shakespeare, King Lear, Act I, Scene 2, [2]
      Wherefore should I / Stand in the plague of custom and permit / The curiosity of nations to deprive me, / For that I am some twelve or fourteen moonshines / Lag of a brother?


Derived terms[edit]



  1. ^ Robin McKie (28 October 2012), “David Attenborough: force of nature”, in (Please provide the title of the work)[1], The Observer, retrieved 29 October 2012



moonshine m (uncountable)

  1. (rare) moonshine (Appalachian home-made liquor)