- open to discussion or debate; debatable; doubtful: Whether that was the cause of their troubles is a moot point.
- of little or no practical value, meaning, or relevance; purely academic: In practical terms, the issue of her application is moot because the deadline has passed.
- Chiefly Law. not actual; theoretical; hypothetical.
- to present or introduce (any point, subject, project, etc.) for discussion.
- to reduce or remove the practical significance of; make purely theoretical or academic.
- Archaic. to argue (a case), especially in a mock court.
- an assembly of the people in early England exercising political, administrative, and judicial powers.
- an argument or discussion, especially of a hypothetical legal case.
- Obsolete. a debate, argument, or discussion.
Origin of moot1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- subject or open to debatea moot point
- (tr) to suggest or bring up for debate
- (intr) to plead or argue theoretical or hypothetical cases, as an academic exercise or as vocational training for law students
- a discussion or debate of a hypothetical case or point, held as an academic activity
- (in Anglo-Saxon England) an assembly, mainly in a shire or hundred, dealing with local legal and administrative affairs
Word Origin and History for moot point
"assembly of freemen," mid-12c., from Old English gemot "meeting" (especially of freemen, to discuss community affairs or mete justice), "society, assembly, council," from Proto-Germanic *ga-motan (cf. Old Low Frankish muot "encounter," Middle Dutch moet, Middle High German muoz), from collective prefix *ga- + *motan (see meet (v.)).
"debatable; not worth considering" from moot case, earlier simply moot (n.) "discussion of a hypothetical law case" (1530s), in law student jargon. The reference is to students gathering to test their skills in mock cases.
"to debate," Old English motian "to meet, talk, discuss," from mot (see moot (n.)). Related: Mooted; mooting.
Idioms and Phrases with moot point
A debatable question, an issue open to argument; also, an irrelevant question, a matter of no importance. For example, Whether Shakespeare actually wrote the poem remains a moot point among critics, or It's a moot point whether the chicken or the egg came first. This term originated in British law where it described a point for discussion in a moot, or assembly, of law students. By the early 1700s it was being used more loosely in the present sense.