moat

[ moht ]
/ moʊt /

noun

a deep, wide trench, usually filled with water, surrounding the rampart of a fortified place, as a town or a castle.
any similar trench, as one used for confining animals in a zoo.

Origin of moat

1325–75; Middle English mote < Old French: clod, mound, of obscure origin
Can be confusedmoat mote
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for moat

British Dictionary definitions for moat

moat

/ (məʊt) /

noun

a wide water-filled ditch surrounding a fortified place, such as a castle

verb

(tr) to surround with or as if with a moata moated grange

Word Origin for moat

C14: from Old French motte mound
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

Word Origin and History for moat

moat


n.

mid-14c., from Old French mote "mound, hillock, embankment; castle built on a hill" (12c.; Modern French motte), from Medieval Latin mota "mound, fortified height," of unknown origin, perhaps from Gaulish mutt, mutta. Sense shifted in Norman French from the castle mound to the ditch dug around it. As a verb, "to surround with a moat," early 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper