Definitions

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

  • n. A half.
  • n. A part, portion, or share.
  • n. Anthropology Either of two kinship groups based on unilateral descent that together make up a tribe or society.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Half.
  • n. A share or portion.
  • n. A specific segment of a molecule.
  • n. Each descent group in a culture which is divided exactly into two descent groups.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One of two equal parts; a half
  • n. An indefinite part; a small part.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A half part or share; one of two equal parts: as, a moiety of an estate, of goods, or of profits.
  • n. A portion; a share.

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

  • n. one of two basic subdivisions of a tribe
  • n. one of two (approximately) equal parts

Etymologies

Middle English moite, from Old French meitiet, moitie, from Late Latin medietās, from Latin, middle, from medius, middle.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the Old French meitié (French moitié), from Latin medietas “half”, from medius “middle, half” (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • In addition, by combining a flavine mononucleotide with a protein moiety of Warburg's yellow enzyme, Kuhn and Rudy produced the very first partial synthesis of a fully functional enzyme.

    Richard Kuhn and the Chemical Institute: Double Bonds and Biological Mechanisms

  • The role of this conjugate was not clear at the time, though its level was found to be dynamic and change during differentiation, when the histone moiety is subjected to ubiquitination and de-ubiquitination.

    Aaron Ciechanover - Autobiography

  • -- in other words, a moiety of the whiskey he had drunk.

    The Jest Book The Choicest Anecdotes and Sayings

  • Law French terms such as moiety, femme and baron hark back to a time when all lawyers were required to learn and practice in French because the ruling class had once spoken French.

    Diogenes' Thumbprint: Libraries and History

  • Nor do you introduce yourself with your lineage, clan, or moiety.

    Fire The Sky

  • That she left off her moiety and people amused me.

    Fire The Sky

  • The family belongs to a clan, and the clan to a moiety.

    Fire The Sky

  • The falcon motif of the ruling moiety was tattooed on his face.

    Fire The Sky

  • Stationers 'Hall, previously to this publication, and of your transfer of the moiety of your copyright to Mr Hood.

    Letter 61

  • Yet they possess but a small share of that moiety of the whole copyright which is divided among the London Booksellers; for

    Letter 310

Comments

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  • "Other khepri glanced at Lin. Her skirt was long and bright in the fashion of Salcus Fields: human fashion, not the traditional ballooning pantaloons of these ghetto-dwellers. Lin was marked. She was an outsider. Had left her sisters. Forgotten hive and moiety." From Perdido Street Station by China Meiville.

    September 18, 2011

  • This sounds like it should mean "moistness".

    April 14, 2008

  • Also an astrological term: "Moitié is a 15th century French word derived from the Latin medietas, meaning middle. The moiety is the central region of the planetary orb, upon entry of which two planets are said to be in 'application' of aspect, or as we say in modern astrology 'within orb'. "

    May 25, 2007

  • 1. A half. 2. A part, portion, or share. 3. Anthropology Either of two kinship groups based on unilateral descent that together make up a tribe or society.
    ETYMOLOGY: Middle English moite, from Old French meitiet, moitie, from Late Latin mediets, from Latin, middle, from medius, middle. See medhyo- in Appendix I.

    May 25, 2007

  • Cleanchested. He has washed the upper moiety.
    Joyce, Ulysses, 3

    December 30, 2006