Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive 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.
  • transitive v. To shed or cast off (a bodily covering).
  • n. The act or process of molting.
  • n. The material cast off during molting.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To shed hair, feathers, skin, horns etc. and replace it by a fresh layer.
  • v. To shed in such a manner.
  • n. The skin or feathers cast off during the process of molting.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • imp. of melt.
  • n. The act or process of changing the feathers, hair, skin, etc.; molting.
  • intransitive v. To shed or cast the hair, feathers, skin, horns, or the like, as an animal or a bird.
  • transitive v. To cast, as the hair, skin, feathers, or the like; to shed.

from The 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.
  • n. The period or time of molting.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. cast off hair, skin, horn, or feathers
  • n. periodic shedding of the cuticle in arthropods or the outer skin in reptiles

Etymologies

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)

Examples

  • The period between each molt is known as an instar.

    La Cucaracha, La Cucaracha

  • Often it involves differences in color, which can be fairly obvious, but it can also involve evaluating feather wear or stages of feather molt, which is a bit harder. "

    undefined

  • For a few seconds I wondered if it had been a molt.

    Bird Cloud

  • 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.

    Bird Cloud

  • 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.

    The Goose May Be Cooked This Year

  • 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?

    Parents Behaving Badly

  • 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.

    Amy Tara Koch: A Five-Minute Fix: The Fine Art of Purging Your Wardrobe

  • Us envio the dos contes: un molt borgi i molt filosfic -; l'altre, estrany the la seva obra.

    Archive 2009-11-01

  • Jo vaig citar una frase de Gustave Flaubert (potser en angls, quin horror!) que magrada molt i que cpio aqu:

    JJ Moreso: Trobada amb JPAS

  • To molt, the larva splits its skin open and wiggles out and then grows a new skin.

    SciFi, Fantasy & Horror Collectibles - Part 1079

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.