1 [muhs-tee]
adjective, mustier, mustiest.
having an odor or flavor suggestive of mold, as old buildings, long-closed rooms, or stale food.
obsolete; outdated; antiquated: musty laws.
dull; apathetic.

1520–30; perhaps variant of moisty (Middle English; see moist, -y1) with loss of i before s as in master

mustily, adverb
mustiness, noun

1. dank, moldy, stale. Unabridged


2 [muhs-tee]
noun, plural musties.
(formerly) a kind of snuff having a musty flavor.

1700–10; noun use of musty1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
musty (ˈmʌstɪ)
adj , -tier, -tiest
1.  smelling or tasting old, stale, or mouldy
2.  old-fashioned, dull, or hackneyed: musty ideas
[C16: perhaps a variant of obsolete moisty, influenced by must³]

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

1530, perhaps a variant of moisty "moist, damp" (see moist).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The formerly dark, musty building became light-filled and bright.
The birds were all around us-large and small, light and dark, squawking and screeching-and the air reeked of musty guano.
Instead of the musty smell of book-filled stacks, the first thing that strikes
  you is the cold.
Above all there is the musty odor of decaying paper.
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