[ mawth-eet-n, moth- ]
See synonyms for moth-eaten on
  1. eaten or damaged by or as if by the larvae of moths.

  2. decayed or worn out.

  1. out of fashion; antiquated.

Origin of moth-eaten

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400

Other words from moth-eaten

  • un·moth-eat·en, adjective

Words Nearby moth-eaten Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use moth-eaten in a sentence

  • For a contemporary manifestation of this moth-eaten brand of tyranny, look no further than Hamas-ruled Gaza.

  • I also saw the clerk busy folding up a moth-eaten velvet pall—not a sight for Christmas Day.

    A Thin Ghost and Others | M. R. (Montague Rhodes) James
  • Come one, come all—all you moth-eaten, lousy stiffs from Stiffville.

    American Sketches | Charles Whibley
  • In impatient haste he tossed out some old novels, caps, a blazer, a roll of moth-eaten bunting.

    The Open Question | Elizabeth Robins
  • When we go to see them in the evening we find him wrapped in a moth-eaten gray coat and a cap on his head.

  • They had hurried on because they were anxious to bring the spoils of the chase to Simla ere the skins grew moth-eaten.

    Kim | Rudyard Kipling

British Dictionary definitions for moth-eaten


  1. decayed, decrepit, or outdated

  2. eaten away by or as if by moths

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