Dictionary: MOSS'-CLAD – MOTH'ER

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Clad or covered with moss. Littleton.

MOSS'ED, pp.

Overgrown with moss.


Overgrown with moss; as, moss-grown towers.

MOSS'I-NESS, n. [from mossy.]

The state of being overgrown with moss. Bacon.

MOSS'-TROOP-ER, n. [moss and trooper.]

A robber; a bandit. Bp. of Dromore.

MOSS'Y, a.

  1. Overgrown with moss; abounding with moss. Old trees are more mossy than young. Bacon.
  2. Shaded or covered with moss, or bordered with moss; as, mossy brooks; mossy fountains. Pope. Cowley.

MOST, a. [superl. of More; Sax. mæst, that is, ma and est; Goth. maists; D. and Dan. meest; G. meist; Sw. mest, måst.]

  1. Consisting of the greatest number. That scheme of life is to be preferred, which presents a prospect of the most advantages with the fewest inconveniences. Most men will proclaim, every one his own goodness. Prov. xx.
  2. Consisting of the greatest quantity; greatest; as, the most part of the land or the mountain.

MOST, adv.

In the greatest or highest degree. Pursue that course of life which will most tend to produce private happiness and public usefulness. Contemplations on the works of God expand the mind and tend to produce most sublime views of his power and wisdom. As most is used to express the superlative degree, it is used before any adjective; as, most vile, most wicked, most illustrious.

MOST, n. [used as a substitute for a noun, when the noun is omitted or understood.]

  1. The greatest number or part. Then he began to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done. Matth. xi. [This use seems to have resulted from the omission of part, or some similar word, and most in this case signifies greatest, that is, the greatest part.]
  2. The most, the greatest value, amount or advantage, or the utmost in extent, degree or effect. A covetous man makes the most of what he has, and can get. L'Estrange. At the most, the greatest degree or quantity; the utmost extent. Stock brings six per cent. interest at the most, often less.

MOS'TIC, n. [G. mahlerstock, contracted.]

A painter's staff or stick on which he rests his hand in painting. Ainsworth.

MOST-LY, adv.

For the greatest part. The exports of the United States consist mostly of cotton, rice, tobacco, flour and lumber.


For the most part. [Obs.] Hammond.

MOT, n. [See MOTTO.]

MO'TA-CIL, n. [L. motacilla.]

A bird of the genus Motacilla or wagtail.

MOTE, n.1 [in Folkmote, &c. signifies a meeting, Sax. mot, gemot.]

MOTE, n.2 [Sax. mot; Sp. mota, W. ysmot, a patch or spot.]

A small particle; any thing proverbially small; a spot. Why beholdest thou the mote in thy brother's eye? Matth. vii. The little motes in the sun do ever stir, though there is no wind. Bacon.

MOTE, v. [for mought, might or must, obsolete.]


MO'TET, n. [Fr.]

A musical composition; an air or hymn. Herbert.

MOTH, n. [Sax. mogthe, mohth, moth, or matha; Goth. matha; D. mot; G. motte.]

  1. An animal of the genus Phalæna, which breeds in yarn and garments, and often does injury by eating the substance and destroying the texture. Matth. vi. The name is also applied to the whole genus.
  2. Figuratively, that which gradually and silently eats, consumes or wastes any thing. Idle persons are a moth to the community.

MOTH-EAT, v.t. [moth and eat.]

To eat or prey upon, as a moth eats a garment. Herbert.


Eaten by moths. Job xiii.


Full of moths. [Not in use.] Falke.


  1. Native; natural; received by birth; as, mother-wit.
  2. Native; vernacular; received from parents or ancestors; as, mother-tongue.

MOTH'ER, n. [Sax. moder; D. moeder, mother, and modder, mud; baar-moeder, the womb; moer, mother, dam, womb, lees; moerspul, hysterics; (moer seems to be a contraction of moeder;) moeder-naakt, stark naked; G. mutter, mother, and the thick slimy concretion in vinegar; bärmutter, the womb or matrix; mutter-fieber, a hysteric fit; mutter-lamm and mutter-schaf, a ewe or female sheep; mutter-flecken and mutter-mahl, a mole; mutter-pferd, a mare, the female of the horse kind; mutter-schiede, the vagina; mutter-nackt, stark naked; moder, mud, mold. Sw. moder, mother; vin-moder, mother of wine; moder-fall, prolapsus uteri; moderlif, the womb or matrix. Dan. moder, mother; moderskeede, the vagina; moderen i quinder, the matrix; modder or mudder, mud. Ir. mathair, a mother, and matter, pus. Gr. ματηρ, mother, and μητρα, matrix. L. mater, mother; matrix, the womb; materia, matter, stuff, materials of which any thing is made. It. madre, mother, cause, origin, root, spring, a mold or form for castings; matera or materia, matter, subject, cause; matrice, the matrix. Sp. madre, mother, matrix, womb, the bed of a river, a sink or sewer; madriz, matrix; materia, matter, purulent running. Port. madre, a mother, the matrix, the channel of a river; materia, matter, pus. Pers. مَادَرْ madar, a mother. Sans. mada, madra, meddra or mata, mother. Russ. mat, mater, mother; matka, a female, a matrix. Fr. mere, mother, contracted from the Latin. W. madrez, matter, purulent discharge. We observe that in some other languages, as well as in English, the same word signifies a female parent, and the thick slime formed in vinegar; and in all the languages of Europe here cited, the orthography is nearly the same as that of mud and matter. The question then occurs whether the name of a female parent originated in a word expressing matter, mold; either the soil of the earth, as the producer, or the like substance, when shaped and fitted as a mold for castings; or whether the name is connected with the opinion that the earth is the mother of all productions; whence the word mother-earth. We are informed by a fragment of Sanchoniathon, that the ancient Phenicians considered mud, μωτ; to be the substance from which all things were formed. See Mud. The word matter is evidently from the Ar. مَدَّ madda, to secrete, eject or discharge a purulent substance; and I think can not have any direct connection with mud. But in the Italian, Spanish and Portuguese, the same word madre signifies mother, and a mold for castings; and the northern languages, particularly the German and Danish, seem to establish the fact that the proper sense of mother is matrix. Hence mother of pearl, the matrix of pearl. If this word had its origin in the name of the earth used for the forms of castings, it would not be a singular fact; for our word mold, in this sense, I suppose to be so named from mold, fine earth. The question remains sub judice.]

  1. A female parent; especially, one of the human race; a woman who has borne a child; correlative to son or daughter.
  2. That which has produced any thing. Alas, poor country, it can not / Be called our mother, but our grave. Shak. So our native land is called mother country, and a plant from which a slip or cion is taken, is called the mother plant. In this use, mother may be considered as an adjective.
  3. That which has preceded in time; the oldest or chief of any thing; as, a mother-church.
  4. Hysterical passion. [Not used.] Graunt.
  5. A familiar term of address or appellation of an old woman or matron.
  6. An appellation given to a woman who exercises care and tenderness toward another, or gives parental advice; as, when one says, a "woman has been a mother to me."
  7. A thick slimy substance concreted in liquors, particularly in vinegar, very different from scum or common lees.

MOTH'ER, v.i.

To concrete, as the thick matter of liquors. Dryden.