[ moh-ab ]
/ ˈmoʊ æb /
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an ancient kingdom E of the Dead Sea, in what is now Jordan.



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Words nearby Moab

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What else does MOAB mean?

MOAB is an acronym referring to a large bomb in the U.S. military, the Massive Ordnance Air Blast or Mother of All Bombs.

Moab is also the name of a Biblical kingdom and a city in Utah.

Where does MOAB come from?

The kingdom of Moab—a name from Greek via Hebrew for “from the father”—is described in the Bible as what is present-day Jordan, bound by the Dead Sea on its west. According to the Bible, the Moabites often fought with the Israelites.

As an acronym, MOAB refers to a massive bomb developed by the U.S. military. The official name of this weapon is the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB). It was tested in 2003 but not put into service until 2017.

In a press release in 2017, the MOAB was described as “the most powerful non-nuclear weapon in America’s arsenal.” It’s probable that its nickname Mother of All Bombs came about while the military was developing the munition. The mother of all X is a construction used for hyperbole (e.g., I have the mother of all hangovers).

Now, MOAB is also pretty common in the gaming world too.

How is MOAB used in real life?

Moab, Utah is a popular destination for fans of national parks and the great outdoors. The stunning, otherworldly landscape of nearby Canyonlands and Arches National Parks attract hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. These eager tourists love to post their vacation pics on social media using the hashtag “#Moab.”

MOAB as an acronym is used by the military and those interested in weaponry.

MOAB has also entered the wider discourse to refer to a metaphorical bomb, such as releasing information about someone, particularly in a political context, (bombshell).

People may also use MOAB as a modifier (e.g. MOAB bomb).

More examples of MOAB:

“The MOAB is designed to destroy a lot of targets on the surface — unlike the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), the only US conventional bomb that’s larger than the MOAB (and one that has yet to be used in combat).”
—Zack Beauchamp, Vox, April, 2017


This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.

Example sentences from the Web for Moab

British Dictionary definitions for Moab

/ (ˈməʊæb) /


Old Testament an ancient kingdom east of the Dead Sea, in what is now the SW part of Jordan: flourished mainly from the 9th to the 6th centuries bc
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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