- (of birds, insects, reptiles, etc.) to cast or shed the feathers, skin, or the like, that will be replaced by a new growth.
- to cast or shed (feathers, skin, etc.) in the process of renewal.
- an act, process, or an instance of molting.
- something that is dropped in molting.
Origin of molt
Examples from the Web for moult
Contemporary Examples of moult
As lobsters grow, they moult their hard exoskeletons—often eating them—which means that they can reach astonishing sizes.My Big, Buttery Lobster Roll Rumble: We Came, We Clawed, We Conquered
June 7, 2014
Historical Examples of moult
You always choose February to moult in, and you will have to be feathered down there.Love and Lucy
Maurice Henry Hewlett
Jack was caught two or three times, and Dan and Moult as often.The Innocents Abroad
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
Head black (with some white after the moult at Christmas), abdomen black.Indian Birds
From the French muer, and the Latin mutare, to change, of hawks to moult.The Master of Game
Second Duke of York, Edward
During a moult the cuticle of the head is cast separately from that of the body.Garden Pests in New Zealand
- (of birds, mammals, reptiles, and arthropods) to shed (feathers, hair, skin, or cuticle)
- the periodic process of moultingSee also ecdysis
Word Origin for moult
- the usual US spelling of moult
Word Origin and History for moult
also moult, mid-14c., mouten, of feathers, "to be shed," from Old English *mutian "to change" (cf. bemutian "to exchange"), from Latin mutare "to change" (see mutable). Transitive sense, of birds, "to shed feathers" is first attested 1520s. With parasitic -l-, late 16c., on model of fault, etc. Related: Molted, moulted; molting, moulting. As a noun from 1815.
- To shed periodically part or all of a coat or an outer covering, such as feathers, cuticle, or skin, which is then replaced by a new growth.
- The act or process of molting.
- The material cast off during molting.
- To shed an outer covering, such as skin or feathers, for replacement by a new growth. Many snakes, birds, and arthropods molt.