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moult

Line breaks: moult
Pronunciation: /məʊlt
 
/
(US molt)

Definition of moult in English:

verb

[no object]
1(Of an animal) shed old feathers, hair, or skin to make way for a new growth: the adult birds were already moulting [with object]: the snake moults its skin
More example sentences
  • The scales are shed individually, so crocodilians do not molt (shed their skin all at once) like snakes do.
  • Also, hermit crabs commonly kept as pets molt and shed their exoskeleton.
  • This biasing factor is unique to organisms that molt or shed their skin during growth.
1.1(Of hair or feathers) fall out to make way for new growth: the last of his juvenile plumage had moulted
More example sentences
  • How often I see feathers molting to the ground-what's left of something in which nothing's to be found.

noun

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A loss of feathers, hair, or skin, especially as a regular feature of an animal’s life cycle: the mountain goat is brilliant white after the autumn moult in the complete life cycle there are four moults
More example sentences
  • Another subunit appears about the time of metamorphosis to first juvenile instar, and expression of a sixth subunit begins four or five molts later.
  • The first smaller pulse induces switchover from larval to pupal commitment, and the second much larger pulse induces the pupal molt.
  • While all feathers wear, they are replaced regularly by the molt processes.

Origin

Middle English moute, from an Old English verb based on Latin mutare 'to change'. For the intrusive -l-, compare with words such as fault.

More
  • commute from (Late Middle English):

    In early use commute meant ‘to interchange two things’. Its source is Latin commutare, from com- ‘together’ and mutare ‘to change’, the root of English words such as moult (Late Middle English), mutant (early 19th century), and permutation (Late Middle English). The modern meaning, ‘to travel between home and your place of work’, comes from commutation ticket. This was the American term for a season ticket, where a number of daily fares were ‘commuted’ to, or changed into, a single payment. The Americans have been commuting since the 1860s, but the term did not make its way over to Britain until the 1930s.

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