- Moss is a very small seedless plant that lives in moist places and grows in soft feathery patches.
An example of moss is the soft green plants that grow on the ground under a thick forest.
- any of various classes (esp. Bryopsida) of very small, green bryophytes having stems with leaflike structures and growing in velvety clusters on rocks, trees, moist ground, etc.
- a growth of these
- any of various similar plants, as some lichens, algae, etc.
Origin of mossMiddle English mos, a bog, moss ; from Old English a swamp, akin to Old Norse mosi, German moos, a bog, moss ; from Indo-European an unverified form meus- (from source Classical Latin muscus, moss) ; from base an unverified form meu-, moist
- a. Any of various green, usually small, nonvascular plants of the division Bryophyta, having leaflike structures arranged around the stem and spores borne in a capsule.b. A patch or covering of such plants.
- Any of various other unrelated plants having a similar appearance or manner of growth, such as Irish moss, Spanish moss, and the club mosses.
transitive verbmossed, moss·ing, moss·es
Origin of mossMiddle English, from Old English mos, bog, and from Medieval Latin mossa, moss (of Germanic origin).
(countable and uncountable, plural mosses)
- Any of various small, green, seedless plants growing on the ground or on the surfaces of trees, stones, etc.; now specifically, a plant of the division Bryophyta (formerly Musci).
- (countable) A kind or species of such plants.
- (informal) Any alga, lichen, bryophyte, or other plant of seemingly simple structure.
- Spanish moss; Irish moss; club moss.
- (now chiefly UK regional) A bog; a fen.
- the mosses of the Scottish border
- The plural form mosses is used when more than one kind of moss is meant. The singular moss is used referring to a collection of moss plants of the same kind.
(third-person singular simple present mosses, present participle mossing, simple past and past participle mossed)
- (intransitive) To become covered with moss.
- An oak whose boughs were mossed with age.
- To cover (something) with moss.
From Middle English mos, from Old English mos (“bog, marsh, moss”), from Proto-Germanic *musą (“marsh, moss”), from Proto-Indo-European *mūs-, *meus- (“moss”). Cognate with Old High German mos (German Moos, “moss”), Icelandic mosi, Danish mos, Swedish mossa, Latin muscus (“moss”).
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