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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English moot, mot, ȝemot, from Old English mōt, gemōt ‎(moot, society, assembly, meeting, court, council, synod), from Proto-Germanic *mōtą ‎(encounter, meeting, assembly), from Proto-Indo-European *mōd-, *mād- ‎(to encounter, come). Cognate with Scots mut, mote ‎(meeting, assembly), Low German Mööt ‎(meeting), Moot ‎(meeting), archaic Dutch (ge)moet ‎(meeting), Danish møde ‎(meeting), Swedish möte ‎(meeting), Icelandic mót ‎(meeting, tournament, meet). Related to meet.



moot ‎(comparative more moot, superlative most moot)

  1. (current in Britain, rare in the US) Subject to discussion (originally at a moot); arguable, debatable, unsolved or impossible to solve.
    • 1770, Joseph Banks, The Endeavour Journal of Sir Joseph Banks, January 4, 1770 (published 1962):
      [] :indeed we were obligd to hawl off rather in a hurry for the wind freshning a little we found ourselves in a bay which it was a moot point whether or not we could get out of: []
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, Chapter 32:
      [T]he uncertain, unsettled condition of this science of Cetology is in the very vestibule attested by the fact, that in some quarters it still remains a moot point whether a whale be a fish.
    • 2002, Colin Jones, The Great Nation, Penguin 2003, p. 477:
      The extent to which these Parisian radicals ‘represented’ the French people as a whole was very moot.
  2. (Canada, US, chiefly law) Being an exercise of thought; academic.
    Walter Crane and Lewis F. Day (1903) Moot Points: Friendly Disputes on Art and Industry Between Walter Crane and Lewis F. Day
  3. (Canada, US) Having no practical impact or relevance.
    That point may make for a good discussion, but it is moot.
    • 2007, Paul Mankowski, "The Languages of Biblical Translation", Adoremus Bulletin, Vol. 13, No. 4,
      The question [whether certain poetry was present in the original Hebrew Psalms] in our own time is moot, since various considerations have made it certain that, of all the hazards presented by biblical translation, a dangerous excess of beauty is not one of them.
Derived terms[edit]


moot ‎(plural moots)

  1. A moot court.
    • Sir T. Elyot
      The pleading used in courts and chancery called moots.
  2. A system of arbitration in many areas of Africa in which the primary goal is to settle a dispute and reintegrate adversaries into society rather than assess penalties.
  3. (Scouting) A gathering of Rovers, usually in the form of a camp lasting 2 weeks.
  4. (paganism) A social gathering of pagans, normally held in a public house.
  5. (historical) An assembly (usually for decision making in a locality). [from the 12th c.]
  6. (shipbuilding) A ring for gauging wooden pins.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English moten ‎(to speak, talk, converse, discuss), from Old English mōtian ‎(to speak, converse, discuss). See also mutter (which is a frequentative of moot).


moot ‎(third-person singular simple present moots, present participle mooting, simple past and past participle mooted)

  1. To bring up as a subject for debate, to propose.
  2. To discuss or debate.
    • Sir W. Hamilton
      a problem which hardly has been mentioned, much less mooted, in this country
    • Sir T. Elyot
      First a case is appointed to be mooted by certain young men, containing some doubtful controversy.
    • 2015 March 4, Peter Shadbolt, “Amazing Cycle Super Highways”, in CNN[1], retrieved 2015-03-11:
      An elevated cycleway connecting Los Angeles and Pasadena was mooted as early as 1896 …
  3. (US) To make or declare irrelevant.
  4. To argue or plead in a supposed case.
    • Ben Jonson
      There is a difference between mooting and pleading; between fencing and fighting.
  5. (regional, obsolete) To talk or speak.
    'tis no boot to moot again of it.
    It is no boot longer with this man to moot.‎ (The Chester Mystery Plays, c. late 15th century)
    Sir, thereof let us moot no more, we hold us paid, take there thy pay.‎ (The Towneley Mystery Plays, c. 15th century)
  6. (Scotland, Northern England) To say, utter, also insinuate.
    He could not moot the words‎.
    I have never heard anyone moot such hateful words before.
Usage notes[edit]

In the fifth sense, usually found in the archaic phrase no boot to moot, as inː it's no boot to moot with her (it is no use to talk/reason/plead with her).

In rural northern dialects, usually used together with the verbs mell and spell, where moot is used instead of talk and say; mell used instead of speak and converse; and spell instead of tell and relate. The verb moot in the sense to talk, say, utter etc., is part of an informal in-group speak or register wherein speakers (mostly of northern dialects) use this and the above-mentioned words when talking with one another and when talking with outsiders or strangers they, usually, only use the words like say, talk, speak etc.. For example, if a mother is talking with her child she is much more likely to use words like moot, mell and spell, however if she is speaking with a stranger from the South she is extremely unlikely to use such words. Also, such words are usually considered taboo in formal contexts.


moot ‎(plural moots)

  1. (Scotland, Northern England) A whisper, or an insinuation, also gossip or rumors.
    Na, I haven't heard a moot of it.
    Haven't you heard the moot, mate? There are going to be layoffs. They are going to shit-can the lot of us‎.
  2. (Scotland, Northern England, rural) Talk.
    No, there's no moot of it on the streets.
    There's some moot of charges, but nothing concrete yet.

External links[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]




moot ‎(plural moots)

  1. (Australia) Vagina.


  • The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, 2005, ISBN 041525938X, pages vol. 2, p. 1320





moot m ‎(plural moten, diminutive mootje n)

  1. A thick slice (usually) of fish.

Related terms[edit]