- To molt is to shed outer skin, hair, feathers or other outer layer to make room for new growth.
When a snake sheds its skin to grow a new layer of skin, this is an example of when the snake molts.
Origin of moltMiddle English mouten (with unhistoric -l- after fault, in which the letter was origin, originally silent) ; from Old English (be)mutian, to exchange ; from Classical Latin mutare, to change: see mutate
- the act or process of molting
- the parts so shed
verbmolt·ed, molt·ing, molts
- The act or process of molting.
- The material cast off during molting.
Origin of moltAlteration of Middle English mouten, from Old English -mūtian (in bemūtian, to exchange for), from Latin mūtāre, to change; see mei-1 in Indo-European roots.
king penguin molting
(third-person singular simple present molts, present participle molting, simple past and past participle molted)
- (intransitive) To shed hair, feathers, skin, horns etc. and replace it by a fresh layer.
- To shed in such a manner.
- The skin or feathers cast off during the process of molting.