Definitions

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

  • adj. Stale or moldy in odor or taste.
  • adj. Hackneyed or trite; dull.
  • adj. Out of date; antiquated.
  • adj. Out of use or practice; rusty.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Having a stale odor.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having the rank, pungent, offensive odor and taste which substances of organic origin acquire during warm, moist weather; foul or sour and fetid; moldy
  • adj. Spoiled by age; rank; stale.
  • adj. Dull; heavy; spiritless.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Moldy; sour: as, a musty cask; musty corn or straw; musty books.
  • Having an ill flavor; vapid: as, musty wine.
  • Dull; heavy; spiritless; moping; stale.
  • n. Snuff having a musty flavor.
  • To become musty.

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

  • adj. stale and unclean smelling
  • adj. covered with or smelling of mold

Etymologies

Alteration of obsolete moisty, from moist.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • In high school I'd skip lunch and spend the money in musty bookstores on Jackson Blvd., their names long forgotten.

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  • The two boys stared down at the black rectangle on the table, breathing in musty basement air.

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  • Musty documents filed away in musty drawers, and old, old letters and deeds-of-law with crumbling edges, referred to it casually.

    The Golden Apple Tree

  • I was surprised at the number, who, in musty law offices, heard the call of adventure; and I was more than surprised by the number of elderly and retired sea captains who were still thralls to the sea.

    Chapter 3

  • During the burial service over her husband, while she had sat bowed in musty black cotton, which had been loaned her by a neighbour, she had vowed earnestly that she would wear weeds yet for Abner before she died.

    The Miller of Old Church

  • If it be in corn or other eatables, as his was who had his barns full (Luke xii. 16, 17), rust (so we read it) corrupts that: Brosis -- eating, eating by men, for as goods are increased they are increased that eat them (Eccl.v. 11); eating by mice or other vermin; manna itself bred worms; or it grows mouldy and musty, is struck, or smutted, or blasted; fruits soon rot.

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume V (Matthew to John)

  • It says the sticker smells "musty," but it seems the second-runner-up smell was coffee.

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  • It smells kind of musty in there, now - I like the upholstery better here.

    Cheeseburger Gothic » Open for business. The new renovated Ladies Lounge.

  • He also says his mouth always tastes kind of musty and he has white buildup (trick question alert: this is three comorbid diseases presenting at once).

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  • Rutenberg and I had a pretty detailed conversation about the put down of the establishment press under Bush, certain failures of imagination in Washington journalism, the interpretation of Colbert's performance in 2006, and the "musty" feel that the invitation to Rich Little had.

    Jay Rosen: That Man Tried to Run You Over. Why Are You Having Dinner With Him?

Comments

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  • Watson used this word when he was talking about the paper that Rene had sent to Simza.

    July 1, 2012