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[mok-uh-sin, -zuh n] /ˈmɒk ə sɪn, -zən/
a heelless shoe made entirely of soft leather, as deerskin, with the sole brought up and attached to a piece of u -shaped leather on top of the foot, worn originally by the American Indians.
a hard-soled shoe or slipper resembling this, often decorated with beads.
any of several North American snakes of the genus Agkistrodon (Ancistrodon), especially the cottonmouth.
Origin of moccasin
Virginia Algonquian
1605-15, Americanism; < Virginia Algonquian < Proto-Algonquian *maxkeseni Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for moccasin
Historical Examples
  • The end of those who are bitten by the moccasin is not pretty to see, and besides, I had business.

    The Trail Book Mary Austin
  • One moccasin is so much like another, it is probable there is some mistake.

    The Last of the Mohicans James Fenimore Cooper
  • The rattlesnake and the moccasin are the most dangerous snakes in the United States.

    Boy Scouts Handbook Boy Scouts of America
  • It closely resembles the moccasin, a poisonous snake, and is often mistaken for it.

    Pathfinder Alan Douglas
  • Nothing equals the moccasin on the trail, nothing is so good to snow-shoe in.

  • The Indian thrust the toe of his moccasin against the buck's antlers.

    Two Boys in Wyoming Edward S. Ellis
  • Hawk Eye fastened a moccasin to one end of his bow and slowly waved it to and fro.

    Hawk Eye David Cory
  • He thought about this some while mending the moccasin, and decided to take the bug gun.

    Cat and Mouse Ralph Williams
  • The moccasin was a dangerous fellow, and he didn't want to run any risks with him.

    Down South Oliver Optic
  • I kept under cover of the growth and halted abreast of the moccasin.

    A Virginia Scout Hugh Pendexter
British Dictionary definitions for moccasin


a shoe of soft leather, esp deerskin, worn by North American Indians
any soft shoe resembling this
(NZ) a sheepshearer's footgear, usually made of sacking
short for water moccasin
Word Origin
C17: from Algonquian; compare Narraganset mocussin shoe
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for moccasin

"North American Indian shoe" (made of deerskin or soft leather), 1610s, from an Algonquian language of Virginia, probably Powhatan makasin "shoe," from Central Atlantic Coast Algonquian *mockasin, similar to Southern New England Algonquian *makkusin, Munsee Delaware mahkusin, Ojibwa makizin. The venomous snake of southern U.S. (1784) is perhaps a different word, but Bright regards them as identical.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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