molt

[mohlt]
verb (used without object)
  1. (of birds, insects, reptiles, etc.) to cast or shed the feathers, skin, or the like, that will be replaced by a new growth.
verb (used with object)
  1. to cast or shed (feathers, skin, etc.) in the process of renewal.
noun
  1. an act, process, or an instance of molting.
  2. something that is dropped in molting.
Also especially British, moult.

Origin of molt

1300–50; earlier mout (with intrusive -l-; cf. fault, assault), Middle English mouten, Old English -mūtian to change (in bi-mūtian to exchange for) < Latin mūtāre to change; see mutate
Related formsmolt·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for molting

exuviate, decorticate, peel, slough, doff

Examples from the Web for molting

Contemporary Examples of molting

  • BORN THIS WEEK Natalie Portman (June 9, 1981) The molting one herself is a Gemini ruled by winged Mercury.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Horoscopes for June 5-11, 2011

    Starsky + Cox

    June 4, 2011

Historical Examples of molting


British Dictionary definitions for molting

molt

verb, noun
  1. the usual US spelling of moult
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 molting

molt

v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

molting in Medicine

molt

[mōlt]
v.
  1. 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.
n.
  1. The act or process of molting.
  2. The material cast off during molting.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

molting in Science

molt

[mōlt]
  1. To shed an outer covering, such as skin or feathers, for replacement by a new growth. Many snakes, birds, and arthropods molt.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.