- The definition of moot is a subject that is not worthy of discussion because it has been resolved.
An example of moot is whether or not to allow prayer in public school.
- Moot is defined as to bring something up to discuss or debate.
An example of moot is a motion being proposed in a debate class.
- a medieval English assembly of freemen to administer justice, decide community problems, etc.
- a discussion or argument, esp. of a hypothetical law case, as in a law school
Origin of mootMiddle English mote from Old English mot, gemot, a meeting and probably Old Norse mot from Germanic base an unverified form mot- from source Gothic gamotjan, to meet
- subject to or open for discussion or debate; debatable: a moot point
- not worthy of consideration or discussion because it has been resolved or it no longer needs to be resolved
- to debate or discuss
- to propose or bring up for discussion or debate
- to make so hypothetical as to deprive of significance; make academic or theoretical
- a. Subject to debate; arguable or unsettled: “It is a moot point whether Napoleon Bonaparte was born a subject of the King of France” ( Norman Davies )b. Of no practical importance; irrelevant: “[He] was appearing as a goodwill gesture, since the competition was moot for him; he had long ago qualified for inclusion in the games” ( Mark Levine )
- Law a. Not presenting an open legal question, as a result of the occurrence of some event definitively resolving the issue, or the absence of a genuine case or controversy.b. Of no legal significance; hypothetical.
transitive verbmoot·ed, moot·ing, moots
- a. To bring up (a subject) for discussion or debate. See Synonyms at broach1.b. To discuss or debate: “The notion of eliminating the corporate income tax has been mooted in tax circles for years” ( Francis X. Clines )
- To render (a subject or issue) irrelevant: “The F.C.C.'s ability to regulate the broadcast media rested on the finite nature of the spectrum, and that has been mooted by the infinity of cable” ( William Safire )
- Law a. To argue (a case) in a moot court.b. To render (a legal issue or question) irrelevant.
- Law a. The discussion or argument of a hypothetical case by law students as an exercise.b. A hypothetical case used for such a discussion or argument.
- An ancient English meeting, especially a representative meeting of the freemen of a shire.
Origin of mootMiddle English meeting from Old English mōt, gemōt
Usage Note: The adjective moot is originally a legal term going back to the 1500s. It derives from the noun moot in its sense of a hypothetical case argued as an exercise by law students. The noun moot in turn goes back to an Old English word meaning “a meeting, especially one convened for legislative or judicial purposes.” Consequently, a moot question is one that is arguable or open to debate. But in the mid-1800s, people also began to look at the hypothetical side of moot as its essential meaning, and they started to use the word to mean “of no significance or relevance.” Thus a moot point, however debatable, is one that has no practical value. A number of critics have objected to this usage, but in our 2008 survey 83 percent of the Usage Panel accepted it in the sentence The nominee himself chastised the White House for failing to do more to support him, but his concerns became moot when a number of Republicans announced that they, too, would oppose the nomination. This represents a significant increase over the 59 percent that accepted the same sentence in 1988. Writers who use this word should be sure that the context makes clear which sense of moot is meant. It is often easier to use another word, such as debatable or irrelevant.
(comparative more moot, superlative most moot)
- 1851, Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, Chapter 32:
- [T]he uncertain, unsettled condition of this science of Cetology is in the very vestibule attested by the fact, that in some quarters it still remains a moot point whether a whale be a fish.
- 2002, Colin Jones, The Great Nation, Penguin 2003, p. 477:
- The extent to which these Parisian radicals "˜represented' the French people as a whole was very moot.
- (North America, chiefly law) Being an exercise of thought; academic.
- Walter Crane and Lewis F. Day (1903) Moot Points: Friendly Disputes on Art and Industry Between Walter Crane and Lewis F. Day
- (North America) Having no practical impact or relevance.
- That point may make for a good discussion, but it is moot.
- A moot court.
- A system of arbitration in many areas of Africa in which the primary goal is to settle a dispute and reintegrate adversaries into society rather than assess penalties.
- (Scouting) A gathering of Rovers (18-26 year-old Scouts), usually in the form of a camp lasting 2 weeks.
- (paganism) A social gathering of pagans, normally held in a public house.
- (historical) An assembly (usually for decision making in a locality). [from the 12th c.]
- (shipbuilding) A ring for gauging wooden pins.
(third-person singular simple present moots, present participle mooting, simple past and past participle mooted)
From Middle English moot, mot, Èemot, from Old English mÅt, gemÅt (“moot, society, assembly, meeting, court, council, synod"), from Proto-Germanic *mÅtÄ… (“encounter, meeting, assembly"), from Proto-Indo-European *mÅd-, *mÄd- (“to encounter, come"). Cognate with Scots mut, mote (“meeting, assembly"), Low German mote (“meeting"), Danish mÃ¸de (“meeting"), Swedish mÃ¶te (“meeting"), Icelandic mÃ³t (“meeting, tournament, meet"). Related to meet.
- (Australia) Vagina.
moot - Legal Definition