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[moo r] /mʊər/
verb (used with object)
to secure (a ship, boat, dirigible, etc.) in a particular place, as by cables and anchors or by lines.
to fix firmly; secure.
verb (used without object)
to moor a ship, small boat, etc.
to be made secure by cables or the like.
the act of mooring.
Origin of moor2
1485-95; earlier more, akin to Old English mǣrels- in mǣrelsrāp rope for mooring a ship; see marline Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for moored
Contemporary Examples
  • It was almost an economic religion or at least an ideology that was not moored to the actual but the theoretical.

Historical Examples
  • We began to talk of the peaceful backwater in which we were moored.

    Pushed and the Return Push George Herbert Fosdike Nichols, (AKA Quex)
  • Would you like to have it drift against you while moored to the shore?

    Up the River Oliver Optic
  • Our vessels were moored about the harbour, and we were all frozen in, as a matter of course.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • She was moored a mile from the shore, and no other vessel was near her.

    Freaks of Fortune Oliver Optic
  • The vessels are moored betwixt it and the town, safe from every storm.

    Wanderings in South America Charles Waterton
  • Beneath this isle they moored the ship, and slept, most of them, ashore.

    The World's Desire H. Rider Haggard and Andrew Lang
  • Their steamers cast anchor, or were moored close to the shore among the creeks, on the north side, near Fort Catherine.

    The British Expedition to the Crimea William Howard Russell
  • The Dear Me was not anchored, but moored to the pier by a pulley and tackle.

    From the Car Behind Eleanor M. Ingram
  • One of the first acts of this gentleman was to sell our boat, which was moored at the back of Government-house.

British Dictionary definitions for moored


/mʊə; mɔː/
a tract of unenclosed ground, usually having peaty soil covered with heather, coarse grass, bracken, and moss
Derived Forms
moory, adjective
Word Origin
Old English mōr; related to Old Saxon mōr, Old High German muor swamp


/mʊə; mɔː/
to secure (a ship, boat, etc) with cables or ropes
(of a ship, boat, etc) to be secured in this way
(not in technical usage) a less common word for anchor (sense 11)
Word Origin
C15: of Germanic origin; related to Old English mǣrelsrāp rope for mooring


/mʊə; mɔː/
a member of a Muslim people of North Africa, of mixed Arab and Berber descent. In the 8th century they were converted to Islam and established power in North Africa and Spain, where they established a civilization (756–1492)
Word Origin
C14: via Old French from Latin Maurus, from Greek Mauros, possibly from Berber
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 moored



"to fasten (a vessel) by a cable," late 15c., probably related to Old English mærels "mooring rope," via unrecorded *mærian "to moor," or possibly borrowed from Middle Low German moren or Middle Dutch maren "to moor," from West Germanic *mairojan. Related: Moored, mooring. French amarrer is from Dutch.


"waste ground," Old English mor "morass, swamp," from Proto-Germanic *mora- (cf. Old Saxon, Middle Dutch, Dutch meer "swamp," Old High German muor "swamp," also "sea," German Moor "moor," Old Norse mörr "moorland," marr "sea"), perhaps related to mere (n.), or from root *mer- "to die," hence "dead land."

The basic sense in place names is 'marsh', a kind of low-lying wetland possibly regarded as less fertile than mersc 'marsh.' The development of the senses 'dry heathland, barren upland' is not fully accounted for but may be due to the idea of infertility. [Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names]



"North African, Berber," late 14c., from Old French More, from Medieval Latin Morus, from Latin Maurus "inhabitant of Mauritania" (northwest Africa, a region now corresponding to northern Algeria and Morocco), from Greek Mauros, perhaps a native name, or else cognate with mauros "black" (but this adjective only appears in late Greek and may as well be from the people's name as the reverse). Being a dark people in relation to Europeans, their name in the Middle Ages was a synonym for "Negro;" later (16c.-17c.) used indiscriminately of Muslims (Persians, Arabs, etc.) but especially those in India.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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