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, mould·er.

Origin of molder

1525–35; obsolete mold to crumble (v. use of mold3) + -er6
Related formsun·mold·ered; especially British, un·mould·ered, adjectiveun·mold·er·ing; especially British, un·mould·er·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for moldering

decompose, disintegrate, crumble

Examples from the Web for moldering

Contemporary Examples of moldering

Historical Examples of moldering

  • In the vast Turkish cemeteries there were moldering bodies innumerable.

    In the Wilderness

    Robert Hichens

  • I stepped at once into, surely, some moldering century long hidden in the dark womb of the forgotten past.

    The Spell of Egypt

    Robert Hichens

  • No moldering horror met my gaze—no blanched or decaying bones; no grinning skull mocked me with its hollow eye-sockets.


    Marie Corelli

  • The thought of that coffin moved me to a stern smile—that splintered, damp, and moldering wood must speak for itself by and by.


    Marie Corelli

  • A score of people might have amused themselves wandering about among the moldering tombs, as the church-yard is free to all.

    Bats in the Wall

    P. T. Raymond

British Dictionary definitions for moldering


verb, noun

the US spelling of moulder 1
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 moldering



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