v. molt·ed, molt·ing, molts
To shed part or all of a coat or an outer covering, such as feathers, cuticle, or skin, which is then replaced by a new growth.
To shed or cast off (a bodily covering).
1. The act or process of molting.
2. The material cast off during molting.
[Alteration of Middle English mouten, from Old English -mūtian (in bemūtian, to exchange for), from Latin mūtāre, to change; see mei-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
(click for a larger image)molt
king penguin molting
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.