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See more synonyms for mot on Thesaurus.com
  1. a pithy or witty remark; bon mot.
  2. Archaic. a note on a horn, bugle, etc.
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Origin of mot

1625–35; < French < Late Latin muttum utterance. See motto
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for mot

gibe, wisecrack, pun, quip, joke, remark, jest, gag, sally, mot

Examples from the Web for mot

Historical Examples of mot

  • It is a mot that one hears every language spoken in Rome, except the Italian!

    Italy, the Magic Land

    Lilian Whiting

  • This waiting for the mot d'ordre from a set of fellows who work in the dark is not to my humor.

    Tony Butler

    Charles James Lever

  • The mot was very pretty, in French, and well turned was n't it?

  • "You have a nice instinct for the mot juste," she informed him.

  • Not Osric nor Iachimo detests the mot propre more than Sidney.

British Dictionary definitions for mot


  1. short for bon mot
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Word Origin for mot

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


  1. Dublin slang a girl or young woman, esp one's girlfriend
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Word Origin for mot

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


abbreviation for
  1. (in New Zealand and formerly in Britain) Ministry of Transport (in Britain now part of the DTLR)See DTLR
  2. (in Britain) MOT test: a compulsory annual test for all road vehicles over a certain age, which require a valid MOT certificate
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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]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper