Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Word of the Year is...

musty1

[muhs-tee] /ˈmʌs ti/
adjective, mustier, mustiest.
1.
having an odor or flavor suggestive of mold, as old buildings, long-closed rooms, or stale food.
2.
obsolete; outdated; antiquated:
musty laws.
3.
dull; apathetic.
Origin of musty1
1520-1530
1520-30; perhaps variant of moisty (Middle English; see moist, -y1) with loss of i before s as in master
Related forms
mustily, adverb
mustiness, noun
Synonyms
1. dank, moldy, stale.

musty2

[muhs-tee] /ˈmʌs ti/
noun, plural musties.
1.
(formerly) a kind of snuff having a musty flavor.
Origin
1700-10; noun use of musty1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for musty
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Anthony Lot throwed back his head an' shot a laugh through his musty beard.

    Harbor Tales Down North Norman Duncan
  • The atmosphere of the place was cold and musty and suggestive of a charnel house.

    The Opal Serpent Fergus Hume
  • It is the very poorest kind of economy to feed shrunken, musty, or damaged grain of any kind.

  • I took these out, and discovered a little dress, musty and mildewed.

    Field and Forest Oliver Optic
  • You would have us go and live in that damp, musty, fusty place?

    Not Like Other Girls Rosa N. Carey
British Dictionary definitions for musty

musty

/ˈmʌstɪ/
adjective -tier, -tiest
1.
smelling or tasting old, stale, or mouldy
2.
old-fashioned, dull, or hackneyed: musty ideas
Derived Forms
mustily, adverb
mustiness, noun
Word Origin
C16: perhaps a variant of obsolete moisty, influenced by must³
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
Word Origin and History for musty
adj.

1520s, perhaps a variant of moisty "moist, damp" (see moist). Related: Mustiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for musty

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for musty

10
11
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for musty