- Informal. smuggled or illicitly distilled liquor, especially corn liquor as illicitly distilled chiefly in rural areas of the southern U.S.
- empty or foolish talk, ideas, etc.; nonsense.
- the light of the moon; moonlight.
Origin of moonshine
Examples from the Web for moonshine
He wrote a few more paperback originals, two of them westerns, then sold The Moonshine War to Doubleday in hardcover.Elmore Leonard’s Rocky Road to Fame and Fortune
September 13, 2014
Gambling, girls; you could buy a pint of moonshine for a dime, store-bought whiskey for a quarter.Stanley Booth on the Life and Hard Times of Blues Genius Furry Lewis
June 7, 2014
Daryl, insulted, smashes it to bits and finds her moonshine instead.The Walking Dead’s Killer Diva Emily Kinney on Daryl and ‘Expired Love’
March 20, 2014
Seaward from palace-haunts, in the moonshine glistened and darkened.Poems
William D. Howells
And the bridges are not of iron and concrete, but of rainbows and––moonshine!The Book of Khalid
The high road, whitened by the moonshine, stretched far into the distance.The Fortune of the Rougons
It means just moonshine and mush and lookin' into each other's eyes, that's about all.The Portygee
Joseph Crosby Lincoln
I don't suppose they have been able to check the making of moonshine—that is, not to any extent?Frank Merriwell Down South
Burt L. Standish
- another word for moonlight (def. 1)
- US and Canadian illegally distilled or smuggled whisky or other spirit
- foolish talk or thought
Word Origin and History for moonshine
c.1500, "moonlight," from moon (n.) + shine (n.). In figurative use, implying "appearance without substance," from late 15c.; perhaps connected in that sense with notion of "moonshine in water" (cf. moonraker). Meaning "illicit liquor" is attested from 1785 (earliest reference is to that smuggled on the coasts of Kent and Sussex); moonlight also occasionally was used in this sense early 19c. As a verb from 1883. Related: Moonshiner (1860).