1 [moor]
a tract of open, peaty, wasteland, often overgrown with heath, common in high latitudes and altitudes where drainage is poor; heath.
a tract of land preserved for game.

before 900; Middle English more, Old English mōr; cognate with Dutch moer, German Moor marsh

moory, adjective Unabridged


2 [moor]
verb (used with object)
to secure (a ship, boat, dirigible, etc.) in a particular place, as by cables and anchors or by lines.
to fix firmly; secure.
verb (used without object)
to moor a ship, small boat, etc.
to be made secure by cables or the like.
the act of mooring.

1485–95; earlier more, akin to Old English mǣrels- in mǣrelsrāp rope for mooring a ship; see marline


a Muslim of the mixed Berber and Arab people inhabiting NW Africa.
a member of this group that invaded Spain in the 8th century a.d. and occupied it until 1492.

1350–1400; Middle English More < Middle French, variant of Maure < Latin Maurus < Greek Maûros Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
moor1 (mʊə, mɔː)
a tract of unenclosed ground, usually having peaty soil covered with heather, coarse grass, bracken, and moss
[Old English mōr; related to Old Saxon mōr, Old High German muor swamp]

moor2 (mʊə, mɔː)
1.  to secure (a ship, boat, etc) with cables or ropes
2.  (of a ship, boat, etc) to be secured in this way
3.  (not in technical usage) a less common word for anchor
[C15: of Germanic origin; related to Old English mǣrelsrāp rope for mooring]

Moor (mʊə, mɔː)
a member of a Muslim people of North Africa, of mixed Arab and Berber descent. In the 8th century they were converted to Islam and established power in North Africa and Spain, where they established a civilization (756--1492)
[C14: via Old French from Latin Maurus, from Greek Mauros, possibly from Berber]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"to fasten (a vessel) by a cable," late 15c., probably related to O.E. mærels "mooring rope," via unrecorded *mærian "to moor," or possibly borrowed from M.L.G. moren, from W.Gmc. *mairojan (cf. M.Du. maren, said to be originally Frisian, Du. meren "to moor a ship"). Related: Moored. Hence
mooring (n.), "place where a vessel can be moored."

"waste ground," O.E. mor "swamp," from P.Gmc. *mora- (cf. O.S., M.Du. Du. moer "swamp," O.H.G. muor "swamp," also "sea," O.N. mörr "moorland," marr "sea"), perhaps related to mere (2), or from base *mer- "to die," hence "dead land."

"North African, Berber," late 14c., from O.Fr. More, from M.L. Morus, from L. Maurus "inhabitant of Mauritania" (northwest Africa, a region now corresponding to northern Algeria and Morocco), from Gk. Mauros, perhaps a native name, or else cognate with mauros "black" (but this adj. only appears in late
Gk. and may as well be from the people's name as the reverse). Being a dark people in relation to Europeans, their name in the Middle Ages was a synonym for "Negro;" later (16c.-17c.) used indiscriminately of Muslims (Persians, Arabs, etc.) but especially those in India.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
They are a primitive, traditional people, melancholy and grim of nature as the bleak moors and endless forests can make them.
Red grouse are one of the few birds to live on the moors year-round.
Ingratiating oneself to such group moors seems a dubious way to gain status.
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