[mawth-eet-n, moth-]


eaten or damaged by or as if by the larvae of moths.
decayed or worn out.
out of fashion; antiquated.

Origin of moth-eaten

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400
Related formsun·moth-eat·en, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for moth-eaten

Contemporary Examples of moth-eaten

Historical Examples of moth-eaten

  • Come one, come all—all you moth-eaten, lousy stiffs from Stiffville.

    American Sketches

    Charles Whibley

  • It was moth-eaten in one or two places, and I made them let me have it at half-price;—made exactly as good a dress.

    The Pearl of Orr's Island

    Harriet Beecher Stowe

  • The cap, said to be moth-eaten, and the other articles had been cast into the fire at Mrs. Ellis's orders.

    The Lamplighter

    Maria S. Cummins

  • He walked across the room and gave the moth-eaten skin another kick.

  • Some broken chairs with moth-eaten seats were piled together, and some ancient boxes lay full of rubbish.

British Dictionary definitions for moth-eaten



decayed, decrepit, or outdated
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