from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Subject to debate; arguable or unsettled.
  • adjective Of no practical importance; irrelevant.
  • adjective Not presenting an open legal question, as a result of the occurrence of some event definitively resolving the issue, or the absence of a genuine case or controversy.
  • adjective Of no legal significance; hypothetical.
  • transitive verb To bring up (a subject) for discussion or debate. synonym: broach.
  • transitive verb To discuss or debate.
  • transitive verb To render (a subject or issue) irrelevant.
  • transitive verb To argue (a case) in a moot court.
  • transitive verb To render (a legal issue or question) irrelevant.
  • noun The discussion or argument of a hypothetical case by law students as an exercise.
  • noun A hypothetical case used for such a discussion or argument.
  • noun An ancient English meeting, especially a representative meeting of the freemen of a shire.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Relating to or connected with debatable questions; subject to discussion; discussed or debated; debatable; unsettled.
  • noun An obsolete variant of mot.
  • noun A meeting; a formal assembly.
  • noun The place of such a meeting.
  • noun In early English history, a court formed by assembling the men of the village or tun, the hundred, or the kingdom, or their representatives.
  • noun Dispute; debate; discussion; specifically, in law, an argument on a hypothetical case by way of practice.
  • To dig.
  • noun In ship-building:
  • noun A ring used to gage the diameter of treenails.
  • noun A piece of hard wood bound with iron at both ends, used in making blocks.
  • To debate; discuss; argue for and against; introduce or submit for discussion.
  • Specifically
  • In law, to plead or argue (a cause or supposed cause) merely by way of exercise or practice.
  • To speak; utter.
  • To argue; dispute.
  • To plead or argue a supposed cause.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • verb obsolete See 1st mot.
  • noun (Shipbuilding) A ring for gauging wooden pins.
  • transitive verb To argue for and against; to debate; to discuss; to propose for discussion.
  • transitive verb Specifically: To discuss by way of exercise; to argue for practice; to propound and discuss in a mock court.
  • transitive verb To render inconsequential, as having no effect on the practical outcome; to render academic.
  • intransitive verb To argue or plead in a supposed case.
  • noun A meeting for discussion and deliberation; esp., a meeting of the people of a village or district, in Anglo-Saxon times, for the discussion and settlement of matters of common interest; -- usually in composition.
  • noun A discussion or debate; especially, a discussion of fictitious causes by way of practice.
  • noun a case or question to be mooted; a disputable case; an unsettled question.
  • noun a mock court, such as is held by students of law for practicing the conduct of law cases.
  • noun a point or question to be debated; a doubtful question.
  • noun to render moot{2}; to moot{3}.
  • adjective Subject, or open, to argument or discussion; undecided; debatable; mooted.
  • adjective Of purely theoretical or academic interest; having no practical consequence.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Australia Vagina.
  • adjective UK Subject to discussion (originally at a moot); arguable, debatable, unsolved or impossible to solve.
  • adjective North America Having no practical impact or relevance.


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

[Middle English, meeting, from Old English mōt, gemōt.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Origin unknown.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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


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  • Contronymic in the sense: debatable vs. non-debatable.

    January 27, 2007

  • It's amazing how many people use the word "moot" without knowing what is means, isn't it? And they usually use it in the opposite sense.

    October 9, 2007

  • Wow, I am so guilty.

    October 9, 2007

  • My favorite misunderstanding of "moot" was on Friends, when Joey said something was a "moo point" - because it's as meaningless as what a cow would say.

    October 9, 2007

  • What do you mean, "opposite sense"? It means both things, right? (Isn't that what contronymic means?) Usually when people say something's moot, they mean it isn't worth arguing over or debating because there are no consequences. Which is correct, because it's one of the two definitions.

    I like "moo point." I think I'll use that.

    October 9, 2007

  • There is also the Old Entish meaning...

    October 9, 2007

  • I suspect Tolkien used "Entmoot" in the same sense as moot court. Makes sense to me. He was a big fan of obsolete Old English words too... :)

    October 9, 2007

  • Yes, actually "Rohirric" is just Anglo-Saxon, or Englisc, if you prefer. :)

    Has anyone done a Tolkien list?

    October 9, 2007

  • Oh, there must be a Tolkien list here somewhere. :-)

    October 9, 2007

  • I geeked out mightily for a moment, there, huh?

    October 10, 2007

  • You sure did. And it was a beautiful thing.

    October 10, 2007

  • Jane Smiley on free will.

    February 1, 2008

  • Joey: All right, Rach, the big question is, does he like you? All right? Because if he doesn't like you, this is all a moo-point.

    Rachel: Huh. A moo-point?

    Joey: Yeah, it's like a cow's opinion. It just doesn't matter. It's moo.

    Rachel: (to Monica and Phoebe) Have I been living with him for too long, or did that all just make sense?

    May 23, 2008

  • Also, when used as a noun archaically, has the sense of 'a place of meeting'. Derived, I think, from Icelandic.

    July 4, 2008

  • "...realizing the point is in serious danger of becoming moot-" Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

    October 17, 2010

  • You say contronymic, I say oxymoronic. Debatably non-debatable. You decide. Is it a moot question?..................My point exactly.

    September 8, 2011

  • moot=Of no practical importance; irrelevant.

    September 4, 2013