[ moh ]
/ moʊ /


a pithy or witty remark; bon mot.
Archaic. a note on a horn, bugle, etc.

Origin of mot

1625–35; < French < Late Latin muttum utterance. See motto Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mot

British Dictionary definitions for mot (1 of 3)


/ (məʊ) /


short for bon mot

Word Origin for mot

C16: via French from Vulgar Latin mottum (unattested) utterance, from Latin muttum a mutter, from muttīre to mutter

British Dictionary definitions for mot (2 of 3)


/ (mɒt) /


Dublin slang a girl or young woman, esp one's girlfriend

Word Origin for mot

perhaps a variant of mort, obsolete slang for girl or woman, of unknown origin

British Dictionary definitions for mot (3 of 3)


abbreviation for

(in New Zealand and formerly in Britain) Ministry of Transport (in Britain now part of the DTLR)See DTLR
(in Britain) MOT test: a compulsory annual test for all road vehicles over a certain age, which require a valid MOT certificate
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 mot



"a witty saying," 1580s, from French mot (12c.) "remark, short speech," literally "word," cognate of Italian motto, from Latin mutum "grunt, murmur" (see mutter). Mot juste (1912) is French, literally "exact word," the precisely appropriate expression in some situation.

The mot juste is an expression which readers would like to buy of writers who use it, as one buys one's neighbour's bantam cock for the sake of hearing its voice no more. [Fowler]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper