See more synonyms for musty on
adjective, mus·ti·er, mus·ti·est.
  1. having an odor or flavor suggestive of mold, as old buildings, long-closed rooms, or stale food.
  2. obsolete; outdated; antiquated: musty laws.
  3. dull; apathetic.

Origin of musty

1520–30; perhaps variant of moisty (Middle English; see moist, -y1) with loss of i before s as in master
Related formsmus·ti·ly, adverbmus·ti·ness, noun

Synonyms for musty

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for mustiness

blight, mold, must, mould, mustiness

Examples from the Web for mustiness

Historical Examples of mustiness

British Dictionary definitions for mustiness


adjective -tier or -tiest
  1. smelling or tasting old, stale, or mouldy
  2. old-fashioned, dull, or hackneyedmusty ideas
Derived Formsmustily, adverbmustiness, noun

Word Origin for musty

C16: perhaps a variant of obsolete moisty, influenced by must ³
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 mustiness



1520s, perhaps a variant of moisty "moist, damp" (see moist). Related: Mustiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper