verb (used without object)

to turn to dust by natural decay; crumble; disintegrate; waste away: a house that had been left to molder.

verb (used with object)

to cause to molder.

Also especially British, mould·er.

Origin of molder

1525–35; obsolete mold to crumble (v. use of mold3) + -er6
Related formsun·mold·ered; especially British, un·mould·ered, adjectiveun·mold·er·ing; especially British, un·mould·er·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for moulder

Historical Examples of moulder

  • The flesh, clad with which he walked our earth, may moulder in the vaults beneath.

    New Italian sketches

    John Addington Symonds

  • Phidias the Moulder had, as has before been said, undertaken to make the statue of Athena.

  • I am the wax within the moulder's hands, and as thou dost fashion me so I shall be.


    H. Rider Haggard

  • There, then, was the place where he too was to lie and moulder in the dust.

    Over the Teacups

    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

  • "Come up along side of me, old fellow," Moulder said to Snengkeld.

    Orley Farm

    Anthony Trollope

British Dictionary definitions for moulder



US molder


(often foll by away) to crumble or cause to crumble, as through decay

Word Origin for moulder

C16: verbal use of mould ³



US molder


a person who moulds or makes moulds
printing one of the set of electrotypes used for making duplicates


verb, noun

the US spelling of moulder 1
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 moulder

see molder. Related: Mouldered; mouldering.



also moulder, "to crumble away," 1530s, probably frequentative of mold (n.3) "loose earth." Related: Moldered; moldering.



also moulder, mid-15c., "one who molds or forms," agent noun from mold (v.). From late 13c. as a surname.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper