1. The legless, soft-bodied, wormlike larva of any of various dipteran flies, often found in decaying matter.
2. Slang A despicable person.
3. Archaic An extravagant notion; a whim.
[Middle English magot, perhaps alteration of mathek, maddokk, perhaps from Old English matha.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.