Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A very small particle; a speck: "Dust motes hung in a slant of sunlight” ( Anne Tyler).
  • auxiliary v. Archaic May; might.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small particle; a speck.
  • n. A tiny computer for remote sensing. Also known as smartdust.
  • v. May or might.
  • v. Must.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • v. See 1st mot.
  • n. A meeting of persons for discussion.
  • n. A body of persons who meet for discussion, esp. about the management of affairs.
  • n. A place of meeting for discussion.
  • n. The flourish sounded on a horn by a huntsman. See mot, n., 3, and mort.
  • n. A small particle, as of floating dust; anything proverbially small; a speck.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A small particle, as of dust visible in a ray of sunlight; anything very small.
  • n. A stain; a blemish.
  • n. An imperfection in wool.
  • n. The stalk of a plant.
  • n. A match or squib with which, before the introduction of the safety-fuse, it was customary to ignite the charge in blasting.
  • May; might: chiefly in the subjunctive: as, so mote it be.
  • Must. See must.
  • An obsolete form of moot.
  • n. An obsolete form of moat.
  • n. Motion.
  • n. In cotton-spinning, a piece of broken cotton-seed, cotton-leaf, etc.
  • n. Boiled grains of maize, a dish much eaten in Peru and Bolivia.
  • To ride in a motor vehicle; engage in the sport of motoring.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (nontechnical usage) a tiny piece of anything

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English mot, from Old English.
Middle English moten, from Old English mōtan; see med- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English mot, from Old English mot ("grain of sand")

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English moten, from Old English mōtan ("to be allowed, be able to, have the opportunity to, be compelled to, may, must"), from Proto-Germanic *mōtanan (“to be able to, have to, be delegated”), from Proto-Indo-European *med- (“to acquire, possess, be in charge of”). Cognate with Dutch moeten ("to have to, must"), German müssen ("to have to, must"), Danish måtte ("might, may"), Ancient Greek μέδω (médō, "to prevail, dominate, rule over"). Related to empty.

Examples

Comments

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  • Food-wise has different meanings throughout South America, generally referring to a mush of cooked grains.

    February 13, 2017

  • n. A mote, an atom :-- Mot attomos, Wrt. Voc. i. 284, 37: ii. 8, 10. Mote atomo, 9, 62. Tó hwí gesihst ðú ðæt mot (festucam) on ðínes bróðor égan, Mt. Kmbl. 7, 3, 5. Ðú gesáwe gehwǽde mot on ðínes bróðor eáge, R. Ben. 12, 3. Ðæt lytle mot ... ðone mot, Lk. Skt. Lind. 6, 41, 42.

    Bosworth, J. (2010, March 21). An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary Online (T. N. Toller & Others, Eds.). Mot. Retrieved August 22, 2011, from http://bosworth.ff.cuni.cz/023189

    There is, AFAIK, no attested link between mot and mótan. Don't look at likeness and go from that.

    August 22, 2011

  • Sorry, but I have a literary interest in semi-archaic words. This is not the time for it, but the day will come when we could look forward to, in this case say, statistics on the current usage and also the archaic usage—or at least the statistics for the noun and separate ones for the verb. So mote it be!

    September 13, 2009

  • Sorry, but I have a literary interest in semi-archaic words. This is not the time for it, but the day will come when we could look forward to, in this case say, statistics on the current usage and also the archaic usage—or at least the statistics for the noun and separate ones for the verb. So mote it be!

    September 13, 2009

  • Citation at uncleft.

    November 14, 2008

  • "Fie! Fie! Ye visionary things,

    Ye motes that dance in sunny glow,

    Who base and build eternities

    On briefest moment here below."

    The Kasidah of Haji Abdu El-Yezdi, Richard F. Burton, translation

    January 29, 2007