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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
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. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for moats

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 moats

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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7
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