Share this entry

Share this page

moon

Line breaks: moon
Pronunciation: /muːn
 
/

Definition of moon in English:

noun

1 (the moon or the Moon) The natural satellite of the earth, visible (chiefly at night) by reflected light from the sun: there was no moon, but a sky sparkling with brilliant stars the first man on the moon
More example sentences
  • If you calculate back a billion and a half years ago, the moon would have been in direct contact with the earth.
  • The moon came up four hours ago, huge and the colour of a malfunctioning striplight on an office ceiling.
  • Eclipses of the sun and the moon occur every six months.
1.1A natural satellite of any planet: Titan, Saturn’s largest moon
More example sentences
  • The moons of the outer planets in the solar system are also rich with various kinds of ices.
  • Other planets and moons in the solar system have been volcanically active in the distant past.
  • Observational astronomers use telescopes, on Earth and in space, to study objects ranging from planets and moons to distant galaxies.
1.2 literary or humorous A month: that wonderful night four moons ago I got my first laser printer many moons ago
More example sentences
  • Many moons ago, a Spanish football team travelled to the Olympic Games in Belgium, where they acquitted themselves well, winning many fans.
  • Many moons ago it seems now, dental treatment and glasses were all free to everyone but now unless ur still at school or are unemployed you have to pay for it!
  • Many moons ago I had a landlady who claimed to remember the days when the road through Bilsdale was no more than a rough track.
Synonyms
a long time ago, ages ago, years ago
British informal donkey's years ago, yonks ago
South African before the rinderpest
1.3 (the moon) Anything that one could desire: you must know he’d give you the moon
More example sentences
  • They want someone who can give you the moon if you desired it, it's what I want for you, what you deserve.
  • Politicians and lovers are both inclined to offer you the moon, but both might eventually do nothing more than use you and leave you for scrap.
  • I wouldn't lay down on that thing even if you promised me the moon.

The moon orbits the earth in a period of 27.32 days, going through a series of phases from new moon to full moon and back again during that time. Its average distance from the earth is some 384,000 km and it is 3,476 km in diameter. The bright and dark features which outline the face of ‘the Man in the Moon’ are highland and lowland regions, the former heavily pockmarked by craters due to the impact of meteorites. The moon has no atmosphere, and the same side is always presented to the earth

verb

Back to top  
1 [no object, with adverbial] Behave or move in a listless and aimless manner: I don’t want her mooning about in the morning
More example sentences
  • She is still mooning about in that motel room, but she does that you know.
  • His talent at piloting was uncanny and he had spent his time mooning about the docks, watching the skimmers.
  • And yep, you got it right, up till now, he was still mooning around because of Sandara.
Synonyms
waste time, fiddle, loaf, idle, mope, drift, stooge around
British informal mooch
North American informal lollygag, bat
1.1Act in a dreamily infatuated manner: Timothy’s mooning over her like a schoolboy
More example sentences
  • Kim's second-best friend Sharon is still mooning over Shane.
  • Anne is now officially ‘loved up’ with the bloke she has been mooning over for 4 years.
  • Including spending most of my teenage years mooning over a guy who never even knew my name.
Synonyms
mope, pine, languish, brood, daydream, fantasize, be in a reverie, be in a brown study
2 [no object] informal Expose one’s buttocks to someone in order to insult or amuse them: the crew dropped their trousers and mooned at them [with object]: Dan had whipped round, bent over, and mooned the crowd
More example sentences
  • They're swinging about like monkeys, roaring up and down the aisles and I was even mooned at once.
  • We do not like some of the things they do, especially those things that break the law or insult Greek sensitivities, such as mooning.
  • Who could cry when Noah and Todd managed to moon the entire crowd when they went up to receive their diplomas?

Origin

Old English mōna, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch maan and German Mond, also to month, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin mensis and Greek mēn 'month', and also Latin metiri 'to measure' (the moon being used to measure time).

More
  • The words moon, month, and measure (Middle English) all go back to the same ancient root. Since the earliest times people have looked at the full moon and seen a face or figure there, which has been identified as the man in the moon since the Middle Ages. The patterns on the moon's disc were formerly also seen as a man leaning on a fork and carrying a bundle of sticks or as a man with his dog and a thorn bush, while other cultures have seen a rabbit, hare, frog, or other animal. The expression over the moon, ‘extremely happy’, though it goes back to the early 18th century, is now particularly associated with post-match remarks from victorious footballers and football managers (along with its opposite, sick as a parrot). The origins of it lie in a nursery rhyme beginning ‘Hey diddle diddle, The cat and the fiddle, The cow jumped over the moon’. The distance and unattainability of the moon is behind such phrases as to cry for the moon ‘to ask for what is impossible or unattainable’ and to promise someone the moon. For a dog to bark at the moon is a singularly pointless act, and people have used it to express futility since the mid 17th century. See also blue

Phrases

over the moon

1
informal , chiefly British Extremely happy; delighted: they’re going on holiday on Wednesday so they’re all over the moon
[from The Cow jumped over the Moon, a line from a nursery rhyme]
More example sentences
  • She is still over the moon, stunned and elated and by her good fortune.
  • There was absolute jubilation around and people were over the moon with it.
  • I'm delighted for him and I'm really and truly over the moon for what he's achieved.
Synonyms
informal on top of the world, on a high, tickled pink
Northern English informal made up
North American informal as happy as a clam
Australian informal wrapped

Derivatives

moonless

1
adjective
Example sentences
  • Nothing is more frightening to me than the pitch dark on a moonless night in the countryside with no street lights.
  • The moonless night is dark and incredibly clear.
  • I didn't want to stumble around in the moonless dark, so I decided to head back.

moonlet

2
noun
Example sentences
  • ‘The interiors of the tiny moonlets, which have been shielded from contamination by the continual collisions with each other, are the source of purer water ice,’ he said.
  • Essentially, rings are just thousands of tiny moonlets that orbit a planet and don't clump back into larger objects.
  • In fact, little moonlets may constantly form and be broken apart.

moonlike

3
adjective
Example sentences
  • Irazu, Costa Rica's tallest volcano, and the closest to San José, is almost moonlike, its grey, barren landscape dotted with craters and devoid of plant life.
  • The sun looked pale and moonlike, behind clouds, as in the picture.
  • Because of the phosphate mining, all but the very edges of the island has been turned in to a desolate, moonlike setting.

Definition of moon in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day tenebrous
Pronunciation: ˈtenəbrəs
adjective
dark; shadowy or obscure