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moat

[moht] /moʊt/
noun
1.
a deep, wide trench, usually filled with water, surrounding the rampart of a fortified place, as a town or a castle.
2.
any similar trench, as one used for confining animals in a zoo.
Origin of moat
1325-1375
1325-75; Middle English mote < Old French: clod, mound, of obscure origin
Can be confused
moat, mote.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for moat
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A moat surrounded the house, of width 60 feet, except in the forest, where it was 115 feet.

    South London Sir Walter Besant
  • At the edge of the moat, the charger struggled vainly, then dropped from sight.

    Millennium Everett B. Cole
  • A moat, long since dry, encircles the building, a bridge spanning it at the principal entrance.

    British Castles Charles H. Ashdown
  • Even her hat, by the aid of a fishing-rod, had been recovered from the moat.

  • We have two mitrailleuses above the terre-plein to sweep at once the moat and the glacis.

  • He could see the fish swimming about, and the sand and pebbles at the bottom of the moat.

    The Magic World Edith Nesbit
  • The moat has already been dug to its proper breadth, which is 10 roods.

  • They had all rushed to the moat, and the uncle had pulled Kenneth out with the boat-hook.

    The Magic World Edith Nesbit
British Dictionary definitions for moat

moat

/məʊt/
noun
1.
a wide water-filled ditch surrounding a fortified place, such as a castle
verb
2.
(transitive) to surround with or as if with a moat: a moated grange
Word Origin
C14: from Old French motte mound
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
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Word Origin and History for moat
n.

mid-14c., from Old French mote "mound, hillock, embankment; castle built on a hill" (12c.; Modern French motte), from Medieval Latin mota "mound, fortified height," of unknown origin, perhaps from Gaulish mutt, mutta. Sense shifted in Norman French from the castle mound to the ditch dug around it. As a verb, "to surround with a moat," early 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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