[moo r-ing]


the act of a person or thing that moors.
Usually moorings. the means by which a ship, boat, or aircraft is moored.
moorings, a place where a ship, boat, or aircraft may be moored.
Usually moorings. one's stability or security: After the death of his wife he lost his moorings.

Origin of mooring

1375–1425; late Middle English; compare Middle Dutch moor; see moor2, -ing1


[moo r]

verb (used with object)

to secure (a ship, boat, dirigible, etc.) in a particular place, as by cables and anchors or by lines.
to fix firmly; secure.

verb (used without object)

to moor a ship, small boat, etc.
to be made secure by cables or the like.


the act of mooring.

Origin of moor

1485–95; earlier more, akin to Old English mǣrels- in mǣrelsrāp rope for mooring a ship; see marline Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for mooring

berth, wharf, harbor, anchorage, dock, station, marina, pier, port

Examples from the Web for mooring

Contemporary Examples of mooring

  • That is, neither country can afford to anchor its strategy to ideology, long after any mooring in reality has vanished.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Israel Needs Better War Technology

    Lloyd Green

    July 7, 2014

Historical Examples of mooring

  • Donald cast the net line loose from its mooring, and saw that it was all clear.

  • The boat reached her mooring in good season, notwithstanding the detention.

    Little By Little

    William Taylor Adams

  • We climbed the dark and empty stairs, upward into the mooring mast.

    The White Invaders

    Raymond King Cummings

  • He saw that one boat was gone from its mooring before he reached the bank!

  • A square port in the bows of a ship, for taking in mooring bridles.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

British Dictionary definitions for mooring



a place for mooring a vessel
a permanent anchor, dropped in the water and equipped with a floating buoy, to which vessels can moor
See also moorings



a member of a Muslim people of North Africa, of mixed Arab and Berber descent. In the 8th century they were converted to Islam and established power in North Africa and Spain, where they established a civilization (756–1492)

Word Origin for Moor

C14: via Old French from Latin Maurus, from Greek Mauros, possibly from Berber




a tract of unenclosed ground, usually having peaty soil covered with heather, coarse grass, bracken, and moss
Derived Formsmoory, adjective

Word Origin for moor

Old English mōr; related to Old Saxon mōr, Old High German muor swamp




to secure (a ship, boat, etc) with cables or ropes
(of a ship, boat, etc) to be secured in this way
(not in technical usage) a less common word for anchor (def. 11)

Word Origin for moor

C15: of Germanic origin; related to Old English mǣrelsrāp rope for mooring
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 mooring

"place where a vessel can be moored," early 15c., "process of making a ship secure," verbal noun from moor (v.).



"to fasten (a vessel) by a cable," late 15c., probably related to Old English mærels "mooring rope," via unrecorded *mærian "to moor," or possibly borrowed from Middle Low German moren or Middle Dutch maren "to moor," from West Germanic *mairojan. Related: Moored, mooring. French amarrer is from Dutch.



"waste ground," Old English mor "morass, swamp," from Proto-Germanic *mora- (cf. Old Saxon, Middle Dutch, Dutch meer "swamp," Old High German muor "swamp," also "sea," German Moor "moor," Old Norse mörr "moorland," marr "sea"), perhaps related to mere (n.), or from root *mer- "to die," hence "dead land."

The basic sense in place names is 'marsh', a kind of low-lying wetland possibly regarded as less fertile than mersc 'marsh.' The development of the senses 'dry heathland, barren upland' is not fully accounted for but may be due to the idea of infertility. [Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names]



"North African, Berber," late 14c., from Old French More, from Medieval Latin Morus, from Latin Maurus "inhabitant of Mauritania" (northwest Africa, a region now corresponding to northern Algeria and Morocco), from Greek Mauros, perhaps a native name, or else cognate with mauros "black" (but this adjective only appears in late Greek and may as well be from the people's name as the reverse). Being a dark people in relation to Europeans, their name in the Middle Ages was a synonym for "Negro;" later (16c.-17c.) used indiscriminately of Muslims (Persians, Arabs, etc.) but especially those in India.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper