A small castle surrounded by a moat.
- An example of a moat is the water around a castle in Medieval times.
- An example of a moat is the water between zoo animals and the visitors.
Origin of moatMiddle English mote from OFr, origin, originally , mound, embankment, probably from Germanic an unverified form motta, heap of earth
- A deep wide ditch, usually filled with water, typically surrounding a fortified medieval town, fortress, or castle as a protection against assault.
- A ditch similar to one surrounding a fortification: A moat separates the animals in the zoo from the spectators.
transitive verbmoat·ed, moat·ing, moats
Origin of moatMiddle English mote mound, moat (since both mounds and moats form part of fortifications) from Old French mound Medieval Latin mota perhaps of Germanic origin and akin to English mud
From Middle English mote, from Old French mote ("mound, embankment"; compare also Old French motte (“hillock, lump, clod, turf"), from Medieval Latin mota (“a mound, hill, a hill on which a castle is built, castle, embankment, turf")), of Germanic origin, perhaps via Old Frankish *mot, *motta (“mud, peat, bog, turf"), from Proto-Germanic *mutÃ´, *mudraz, *muÃ¾raz (“dirt, filth, mud, swamp"), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)mut- (“dark, dirty"). Cognate with Alemannic German Mott, Mutte (“peat, turf"), Bavarian Mott (“peat, turf"), Dutch dialectal mot (“dust, fine sand"), Eastern Frisian mut (“grit, litter, humus"), Swedish muta (“to drizzle"), Old English mot (“speck, particle"). More at mote, mud, smut.