Definition of moat in English:


Pronunciation /mōt/ /moʊt/

See synonyms for moat

Translate moat into Spanish


  • A deep, wide ditch surrounding a castle, fort, or town, typically filled with water and intended as a defense against attack.

    ‘Its present appearance, a picturesque ruin surrounded by a wide moat full of water lilies, masks its serious military purpose.’
    • ‘Besides a moat filled with rain water by way of the castle aqueducts, there were two walls, the lower outer and the higher inner.’
    • ‘It had a drawbridge that was not over a moat filled with water, but a chasm that seemed to go to the center of the Earth.’
    • ‘Think of a castle with a deep moat and a dozen cannon on the turrets.’
    • ‘This would connect the castle to a roadway usually across a moat or ditch.’
    • ‘Their models are forts and castles, moats and drawbridges.’
    • ‘Around the building was a deep moat with crystal sparkling water.’
    • ‘The moat was drained of water with only moss growing at the bottom and the outside walls crawling with thorny vines.’
    • ‘For media owners around the globe, China must seem like a golden castle, surrounded by a deep moat full of crocodiles.’
    • ‘They crushed each other as they swarmed across the moats and ditches between them and the packages.’
    • ‘He cried in a voice that reverberated off the castle walls and sent the water in the moat into a series of ripples.’
    • ‘She crept up to the base and was not surprised to find the place surrounded by a wide and probably deep moat.’
    • ‘The large pond not only provided fresh fish for the city markets but also helped keep the moat around the walls filled with water.’
    • ‘The products or services that have wide, sustainable moats around them are the ones that deliver rewards to investors.’
    • ‘The moats have since filled in, but the interferometric radar is so subtle that it detects the change in the height of the former banks.’
    • ‘It refers to the competitive advantage that a company has over other firms in its industry; the wider the moat, the more attractive the company.’
    • ‘There the flowers are surrounded by thick tissue and, in some cases, even a protective moat filled with rainwater or the plants' own secretions.’
    • ‘I thought of water, like a moat, but that was not possible.’
    • ‘Archers were posted on the walls of the castle, easily able to pick off any enemies that wanted to try their luck at crossing the wide moat.’
    • ‘A moat of icy water separates them from civilisation.’

transitive verb

[with object]
  • Surround (a place) with a moat.

    ‘Thornham Hall was a perfect Tudor red brick moated hall with a classic straight and gated drive through the Park.’
    • ‘It took many years to restore this fine, moated 17th century château and its cellars.’
    • ‘He wondered if that moat would have the same effect on him as spring water or rain water would.’
    • ‘They were more ambivalent about Montesquieu - a magistrate in the parlement of Bordeaux, a feudal lord living in a moated castle, and an apologist for noble power.’
    • ‘In August 1552 the young Tsar led a Russian army, perhaps 150,000 strong, to besiege Kazan, a walled and moated town set on a hill.’
    • ‘Eltham Palace was originally a moated medieval royal palace that degenerated into a ruin over the years.’
    • ‘The oldest surviving parts of Smithills Hall were built in the 14th century on a moated site, owned by the Radclyffe family.’
    • ‘The scheme includes restoration of hedges around a moated field south of the village which is thought to be the site of the home of the Skipwith family in the late 14th century.’
    • ‘A moated palace was built at Eltham which became a favourite home of Plantagenet monarchs during the 14th and 15th centuries.’
    • ‘An opportunity to try out grand family living in a moated farmhouse’
    • ‘He's probably spent his life languishing in this moated monstrosity.’
    • ‘They are set in the middle of a moated mound which encloses a large area - once kitchen gardens.’
    • ‘Also includes the site of the moated palace of King Edwin and Queen Ethelburga.’


Late Middle English from Old French mote ‘mound’.