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[moon-rey-ker] /ˈmunˌreɪ kər/
Also called moonsail
[moon-suh l, -seyl] /ˈmun səl, -ˌseɪl/ (Show IPA)
. Nautical. a light square sail set above a skysail.
a simpleton.
Origin of moonraker
First recorded in 1780-90; moon + raker1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for moonraker
Historical Examples
  • So that, if you stay more than an hour in the moonraker's Inn, you'll be late for it.

    Hobson's Choice Harold Brighouse
  • I expect Mr. Heeler's waiting for you in "moonraker's," father.

    Hobson's Choice Harold Brighouse
  • Let's go to the "moonraker's" and forget there's such a thing as women in the world.

    Hobson's Choice Harold Brighouse
  • A moonraker is also the nickname for a native of Wiltshire, and a very silly story is told there as its origin.

British Dictionary definitions for moonraker


(nautical) a small square sail set above a skysail
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 moonraker

in England, a name traditionally given to Wiltshire people, attested from 1787, is from the stock joke about fools who mistook the reflection of the moon in a pond for a cheese and tried to rake it out. But as told in Wiltshire, the men were surprised trying to rake up kegs of smuggled brandy, and put off the revenuers by acting foolish.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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