Definitions

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

  • noun Any of numerous insects of the order Lepidoptera, generally distinguished from butterflies by their nocturnal activity, hairlike or feathery antennae, stout bodies, and the frenulum that holds the front and back wings together.
  • noun A clothes moth.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A nocturnal or crepuscular lepidopterous insect; a member of the order Lepidoptera and suborder Heterocera.
  • noun Any larva that destroys woolen fabrics.
  • noun Figuratively, one who or that which gradually and silently eats, consumes, or wastes anything.
  • noun In India, a trailing dwarf bean, Phaseolus aconitifolius, cultivated for food and fodder. Also called Turkish gram. See gram.
  • noun An obsolete variant of mote.

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

  • noun (Zoöl.) Any nocturnal lepidopterous insect, or any not included among the butterflies
  • noun (Zoöl.) Any lepidopterous insect that feeds upon garments, grain, etc.. See these terms under Clothes, Grain, etc.
  • noun (Zoöl.) Any one of various other insects that destroy woolen and fur goods, etc., esp. the larvæ of several species of beetles of the genera Dermestes and Anthrenus. Carpet moths are often the larvæ of Anthrenus. See Carpet beetle, under Carpet, Dermestes, Anthrenus.
  • noun Anything which gradually and silently eats, consumes, or wastes any other thing.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any plant louse of the genus Aleurodes, and related genera. They are injurious to various plants.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a dipterous insect of the genus Bychoda, having fringed wings.
  • noun (Zoöl.) the goatsucker.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a clothes moth. See Miller, 3, (a).
  • noun (Bot.) a common herb of the genus Verbascum (Verbascum Blattaria), having large wheel-shaped yellow or whitish flowers.
  • noun obsolete A mote.

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

  • noun The plant Vigna aconitifolia, known as moth bean.
  • noun A usually nocturnal insect of the order Lepidoptera, distinguished from butterflies by feather-like antennae.
  • verb intransitive To hunt for moths.

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

  • noun typically crepuscular or nocturnal insect having a stout body and feathery or hairlike antennae

Etymologies

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

[Middle English motthe, from Old English moththe.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

This definition is lacking an etymology or has an incomplete etymology. You can help Wiktionary by giving it a proper etymology.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

Examples

  • The brain of a moth is about the size of a grain of rice.

    Boing Boing

  • Melanism in the peppered moth is known from breeding experiments to be a standard genetic trait following Mendelian inheritance.

    Death of a popular anti-ID argument

  • The moth is immobilize inside a plastic tube mounted atop the 6-inch-tall wheeled robot.

    Boing Boing

  • The audience of thirty sat in moth-eaten velvet armchairs covered by blankets.

    The Last Squash Tennis Player

  • The audience of thirty sat in moth-eaten velvet armchairs covered by blankets.

    The Last Squash Tennis Player

  • Among them the atlas moth is found, measuring from eight to ten inches across its wings.

    The Golden Chersonese and the Way Thither

  • The Golden language we were sent to analyze -- we call it Moth because there's a chunk in the name that sounds like 'moth' -- that Golden language has vowels and consonants too.

    Analog Science Fiction and Fact

  • Whether their kind possesses the wingspread of a Lucifer or a moth is a question better left to theologians.

    The Glass Rainbow

  • Whether their kind possesses the wingspread of a Lucifer or a moth is a question better left to theologians.

    The Glass Rainbow

  • Whether their kind possesses the wingspread of a Lucifer or a moth is a question better left to theologians.

    The Glass Rainbow

Comments

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  • a nighttime butterfly

    August 13, 2008

  • "Judge a moth by the beauty of its candle."

    - Rumi.

    September 3, 2008

  • from Old English "moththe". best spelling ever.

    November 17, 2008

  • /mɔθθə/ or /mɔθðə/?

    Or still differently?

    In German it's "Motte", simply without the "h"s.

    November 17, 2008

  • I used to write short things that I called poems. In several of these moths would come up. I think I liked them because they are fragile. I think I liked them because they are drawn to a light they circle but never reach, and that their attraction to it is a malfunction. They are not only nighttime butterflies, but their plainer cousins, the leaf to the flower. Therefore more beautiful.

    March 12, 2009

  • Organization has expertise in moth residential and commercial development.

    —text I'm proofing. 'Tis pity to change it.

    August 12, 2010

  • Agreed.

    August 12, 2010