- (of birds, insects, reptiles, etc.) to cast or shed the feathers, skin, or the like, that will be replaced by a new growth.
- to cast or shed (feathers, skin, etc.) in the process of renewal.
- an act, process, or an instance of molting.
- something that is dropped in molting.
Origin of molt
Examples from the Web for molt
The young ticks have only six legs (Fig. 15) but after the first molt they all have eight.Insects and Diseases
Rennie W. Doane
That commission is performed; if he wants any of it, Molt shall use him fairly.The Journal to Stella
Most of the specimens examined, that were taken in this period, are in molt.
This places the period of molt as September, October, and November.
Some of the specimens obtained in November and December are in molt.
- the usual US spelling of moult
Word Origin and History for molt
also moult, mid-14c., mouten, of feathers, "to be shed," from Old English *mutian "to change" (cf. bemutian "to exchange"), from Latin mutare "to change" (see mutable). Transitive sense, of birds, "to shed feathers" is first attested 1520s. With parasitic -l-, late 16c., on model of fault, etc. Related: Molted, moulted; molting, moulting. As a noun from 1815.
- To shed periodically part or all of a coat or an outer covering, such as feathers, cuticle, or skin, which is then replaced by a new growth.
- The act or process of molting.
- The material cast off during molting.
- To shed an outer covering, such as skin or feathers, for replacement by a new growth. Many snakes, birds, and arthropods molt.