molt

When an animal molts, it loses its feathers, fur, skin or maybe even outer skeleton. People don't molt, but plenty of animals do as a normal part of their life cycle.

Despite the guarantees made by late night advertisements, once a human is bald, he's bald forever. Not so for many animals who routinely lose and gain hair, skin or feathers. Think of shedding dogs and snakes crawling out of their old skins. This is the process known as molting. Insects that molt lose their shells or wings, often a sign that they're entering a different part of their life cycle.

Definitions of molt
  1. verb
    cast off hair, skin, horn, or feathers
    synonyms: exuviate, moult, shed, slough
    see moresee less
    types:
    desquamate, peel off
    peel off in scales
    type of:
    cast, cast off, drop, shake off, shed, throw, throw away, throw off
    get rid of
  2. noun
    periodic shedding of the cuticle in arthropods or the outer skin in reptiles
    synonyms: ecdysis, molting, moult, moulting
    see moresee less
    type of:
    shedding, sloughing
    the process whereby something is shed
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week