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a moth (1)

Etymology 1[edit]

Germanic: from Old English moþþe, cognate with Dutch mot, German Motte.


Singular: moth

Plural: moths


moth (plural moths)

  1. A usually nocturnal insect of the order Lepidoptera, distinguished from butterflies by feather-like antennae.
    • 2013 May-June, William E. Conner, “An Acoustic Arms Race”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 3, page 206-7:
      Earless ghost swift moths become “invisible” to echolocating bats by forming mating clusters close (less than half a meter) above vegetation and effectively blending into the clutter of echoes that the bat receives from the leaves and stems around them.
  2. (figuratively) Anything that gradually and silently eats, consumes, or wastes any other thing.
Derived terms[edit]


moth (third-person singular simple present moths, present participle mothing, simple past and past participle mothed)

  1. (intransitive) To hunt for moths.
Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

moth beans

From Hindi मोठ (moṭh).



moth (countable and uncountable, plural moths)

  1. The plant Vigna aconitifolia, moth bean.
Derived terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]


moth (plural moths)

  1. Obsolete form of mote.
  2. (dated) A liver spot, especially an irregular or feathery one.
    • 1895, Good Housekeeping, page 196, ISSN: 0731-3462
      To remove moth patches, wash the spots with a solution of common bicarbonate of soda and water several times a day, until the patches are removed, which will usually be in forty-eight hours.
    • 1999, R. L. Gupta, Directory of Diseases & Cures: In Homoeopathy, page 254, →ISBN.
      Craves for sour things, chalks and eggs, fatty people with light brown spots on the face or liver spots, moth patches on forehead and cheek.
    • 2005, J. D. Patil, Textbook of Applied Materia Medica, page 108, →ISBN.
      There are signs of liver affections as weakness, yellow complexion, liver spots, and moth spot like a saddle over the nose.