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[mohl-der] /ˈmoʊl dər/
verb (used without object)
to turn to dust by natural decay; crumble; disintegrate; waste away:
a house that had been left to molder.
verb (used with object)
to cause to molder.
Also, especially British, moulder.
Origin of molder1
1525-35; obsolete mold to crumble (v. use of mold3) + -er6
Related forms
unmoldered; especially British, unmouldered, adjective
unmoldering; especially British, unmouldering, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for moulder
Historical Examples
  • The flesh, clad with which he walked our earth, may moulder in the vaults beneath.

    New Italian sketches John Addington Symonds
  • Phidias the moulder had, as has before been said, undertaken to make the statue of Athena.

  • I am the wax within the moulder's hands, and as thou dost fashion me so I shall be.

    Cleopatra H. Rider Haggard
  • There, then, was the place where he too was to lie and moulder in the dust.

    Over the Teacups Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  • "Come up along side of me, old fellow," moulder said to Snengkeld.

    Orley Farm

    Anthony Trollope
  • "I'll lend, it you," said moulder, putting his hand into his trousers-pockets.

    Orley Farm

    Anthony Trollope
  • He was a young man just commencing his travels, and stood in awe of the great moulder.

    Orley Farm

    Anthony Trollope
  • "The lawyer, as you call him, will have to leave the room," said moulder.

    Orley Farm

    Anthony Trollope
  • "He must leave the room, or I shall leave the house," said moulder.

    Orley Farm

    Anthony Trollope
  • "I keep a little account for charity at home," said moulder.

    Orley Farm

    Anthony Trollope
British Dictionary definitions for moulder


(often foll by away) to crumble or cause to crumble, as through decay
Word Origin
C16: verbal use of mould³


a person who moulds or makes moulds
(printing) one of the set of electrotypes used for making duplicates


verb, noun
the US spelling of moulder1
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 moulder

see molder. Related: Mouldered; mouldering.



also moulder, "to crumble away," 1530s, probably frequentative of mold (n.3) "loose earth." Related: Moldered; moldering.



also moulder, mid-15c., "one who molds or forms," agent noun from mold (v.). From late 13c. as a surname.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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