- a deep, wide trench, usually filled with water, surrounding the rampart of a fortified place, as a town or a castle.
- any similar trench, as one used for confining animals in a zoo.
Origin of moat
Examples from the Web for moat
But over the years, cloistered in their mountain keep, complete with moat, Bender and Patton became ever more reclusive.Gems, Guns and Death in a Jungle Mansion
May 25, 2014
The brain is a castle and this is its moat, as experts have described it.Scientists Find Bacteria Where It Isn’t Supposed to Be: The Brain
March 17, 2013
The rectory was often surrounded by a moat, with an entrance protected by a gatehouse.English Villages
P. H. Ditchfield
Charley got me information about the fair, and the day before it, I set out for the Moat.
I should have done better to go down to the Moat, and be silent.
A moment later it rang home against the wall on my side of the moat.
Me she had not seen, nor did she till I darted out of my ambush, and leapt after Rupert into the moat.
- a wide water-filled ditch surrounding a fortified place, such as a castle
- (tr) to surround with or as if with a moata moated grange
Word Origin and History for moat
mid-14c., from Old French mote "mound, hillock, embankment; castle built on a hill" (12c.; Modern French motte), from Medieval Latin mota "mound, fortified height," of unknown origin, perhaps from Gaulish mutt, mutta. Sense shifted in Norman French from the castle mound to the ditch dug around it. As a verb, "to surround with a moat," early 15c.