moats

moat

[moht]
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:
1325–75; Middle English mote < Old French: clod, mound, of obscure origin

moat, mote.
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World English Dictionary
moat (məʊt)
 
n
1.  a wide water-filled ditch surrounding a fortified place, such as a castle
 
vb
2.  (tr) to surround with or as if with a moat: a moated grange
 
[C14: from Old French motte mound]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

moat
mid-14c., from O.Fr. mote, from M.L. mota "mound, fortified height," probably from Gaulish mutt, mutta. Sense shifted in Norman French from the castle mound to the ditch dug around it.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Synonyms
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