Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[mawth-eet-n, moth-] /ˈmɔθˌit n, ˈmɒθ-/
eaten or damaged by or as if by the larvae of moths.
decayed or worn out.
out of fashion; antiquated.
Origin of moth-eaten
Middle English word dating back to 1350-1400
Related forms
unmoth-eaten, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for moth-eaten
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It's all stuffy and moth-eaten, and the gold is nearly black.

    Terry Rosa Mulholland
  • That's the old, moth-eaten gag they're sure to try to pull on you.

    Jill the Reckless P. G. (Pelham Grenville) Wodehouse
  • Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten.

    Socialism: Positive and Negative

    Robert Rives La Monte
  • Come one, come all—all you moth-eaten, lousy stiffs from Stiffville.

    American Sketches Charles Whibley
  • The furniture was dilapidated, and the coverings of it were worn and moth-eaten.

    Rollo in Scotland Jacob Abbott
  • It is a rusted and a moth-eaten thing; it eats the flesh as doth a canker.

    A Lamp to the Path W. K. Tweedie
  • She likewise found a moth-eaten parchment, which she sat down to peruse.

    The Heroine

    Eaton Stannard Barrett
  • I saw something like them in Hampton Court, but there they were worn and frayed and moth-eaten.

    Dracula Bram Stoker
  • It was generally supposed that she was, in the slang of the day, either "moth-eaten," or "cracked."

    Poppy Cynthia Stockley
British Dictionary definitions for moth-eaten


decayed, decrepit, or outdated
eaten away by or as if by moths
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
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for moth-eaten



Worn out by long or rough usage or by neglect: moth-eaten school (1550+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for moth-eaten

Word Value for moth

Scrabble Words With Friends