American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To shed periodically part or all of a coat or an outer covering, such as feathers, cuticle, or skin, which is then replaced by a new growth.
- v. To shed or cast off (a bodily covering).
- n. The act or process of molting.
- n. The material cast off during molting.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- An obsolete preterit of melt.
- To shed or cast, as feathers, hair, or skin; slough off: often used figuratively.
- To cast or shed feathers, hair, skin, or the like; undergo or accomplish a molt; exuviate; mew. See the noun.
- To be about to be cast off or shed, as plumage.
- n. The act or process of shedding or casting any tegumentary, cuticular, or exoskeletal structures or appendages, as feathers, hair, skin, nails, horns, hoofs, claws, or shell; ecdysis; exuviation. The surface of the body of most animals, outside of the parts which are vascular or supplied with blood, is worn away by friction, attrition, or other mechanical means. This process may be slight and gradual or continuous, as in the case of man, where it results in scarfskin and dandruff; or it may be periodical and very extensive, affecting the whole cuticle or its appendages. Mammals shed their hair usually once a year. Birds molt their feathers usually at least once, often twice, sometimes thrice a year, the last two cases constituting the double and the triple molt. Both these classes of animals, in some cases, molt cuticular substances in mass. Thus, the American antelope sheds the sheath of the horn; lemmings and ptarmigans drop their claws; some birds of the auk family shed the horny parts of the beak; snakes cast their cuticle whole, even to the layer over the eyeball; crustaceans slough the whole shell; and numberless other invertebrates have a proper molt of similar or analogous character.
- n. The period or time of molting.
- v. intransitive To shed hair, feathers, skin, horns etc. and replace it by a fresh layer.
- v. transitive To shed in such a manner.
- n. The skin or feathers cast off during the process of molting.
GNU Webster's 1913
- imp. of melt.
- v. To shed or cast the hair, feathers, skin, horns, or the like, as an animal or a bird.
- v. To cast, as the hair, skin, feathers, or the like; to shed.
- n. The act or process of changing the feathers, hair, skin, etc.; molting.
- v. cast off hair, skin, horn, or feathers
- n. periodic shedding of the cuticle in arthropods or the outer skin in reptiles
- Alteration of Middle English mouten, from Old English -mūtian (in bemūtian, to exchange for), from Latin mūtāre, to change; see mei-1 in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The period between each molt is known as an instar.”
“For a few seconds I wondered if it had been a molt.”
“But of course eagles do not molt bunches of feathers at once, but one at a time, and a loss of seven feathers would be catastrophic to flight.”
“Canada geese begin to molt, or shed their feathers so they can't fly, in mid- to late June, which is usually when the USDA strikes.”
“Joshua was the next to last to get picked up, and Ben was bummed to see him go because he had passed the time regaling Ben with little known factoids about crustaceans lobsters molt—who knew?”
“Like peacocks who meticulously molt for more up-to-the moment plumage, dumping the clothes that no longer fit your lifestyle will deliver a bolder, brighter you.”
“Us envio the dos contes: un molt borgi i molt filosfic -; l'altre, estrany the la seva obra.”
“Jo vaig citar una frase de Gustave Flaubert (potser en angls, quin horror!) que magrada molt i que cpio aqu:”
“To molt, the larva splits its skin open and wiggles out and then grows a new skin.”
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