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 ©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.