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[mohl-der] /ˈmoʊl dər/
verb (used without object)
to turn to dust by natural decay; crumble; disintegrate; waste away:
a house that had been left to molder.
verb (used with object)
to cause to molder.
Also, especially British, moulder.
Origin of molder1
1525-35; obsolete mold to crumble (v. use of mold3) + -er6
Related forms
unmoldered; especially British, unmouldered, adjective
unmoldering; especially British, unmouldering, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for moldering
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In the vast Turkish cemeteries there were moldering bodies innumerable.

    In the Wilderness Robert Hichens
  • I stepped at once into, surely, some moldering century long hidden in the dark womb of the forgotten past.

    The Spell of Egypt Robert Hichens
  • No moldering horror met my gaze—no blanched or decaying bones; no grinning skull mocked me with its hollow eye-sockets.

    Vendetta Marie Corelli
  • The thought of that coffin moved me to a stern smile—that splintered, damp, and moldering wood must speak for itself by and by.

    Vendetta Marie Corelli
  • A score of people might have amused themselves wandering about among the moldering tombs, as the church-yard is free to all.

    Bats in the Wall P. T. Raymond
  • Not that the concentric curves of these moldering and moss-lined stone benches are without their appeal to the senses.

    The Mediterranean

    T. G. (Thomas Gray) Bonney, E. A. R. Ball, H. D. Traill, Grant Allen, and Arthur Griffiths
  • The moldering palace of the once mighty Dukes of Santo Stefano is also at this western end of the town.

    Vistas in Sicily Arthur Stanley Riggs
  • Then, looking more closely, he realized that the bones were dusty and grimed, cobwebbed and moldering.

  • Oh, you will have plenty to do to keep you from moldering away alive, if you look after your estate as father does after his.

    Her Mother's Secret Emma D. E. N. Southworth
British Dictionary definitions for moldering


verb, noun
the US spelling of moulder1
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 moldering



also moulder, "to crumble away," 1530s, probably frequentative of mold (n.3) "loose earth." Related: Moldered; moldering.



also moulder, mid-15c., "one who molds or forms," agent noun from mold (v.). From late 13c. as a surname.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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