Definition of moot in English:


Pronunciation /mo͞ot/ /mut/

See synonyms for moot

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  • 1Subject to debate, dispute, or uncertainty.

    ‘whether they had been successful or not was a moot point’
    • ‘it is a moot point whether such a controversial scheme would have succeeded’
    debatable, open to debate, open to discussion, arguable, questionable, at issue, open to question, open, doubtful, open to doubt, disputable, contestable, controvertible, problematic, problematical, controversial, contentious, vexed, disputed, unresolved, unsettled, up in the air, undecided, yet to be decided, undetermined, unconcluded
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  • 2Having little or no practical relevance, typically because the subject is too uncertain to allow a decision.

    • ‘the whole matter is becoming increasingly moot’

transitive verb

[with object]
  • Raise (a question or topic) for discussion; suggest (an idea or possibility)

    ‘Sylvia needed a vacation, and a trip to Ireland had been mooted’
    • ‘One possibility, which has increasingly been mooted, is the idea of a Universal Court for Human Rights.’
    • ‘When Richard first mooted the idea of his book to his brother two years ago, David advised him on the business end of publishing.’
    • ‘It was he who first mooted the idea of a reunion seven years ago.’
    • ‘Once the idea was mooted, it struck a chord with other regional stock exchanges.’
    • ‘He has already had his first meeting with the upper sixth council during which a number of suggestions were mooted.’
    • ‘Supporters have been waiting for a new stadium since the idea was first mooted more than 10 years ago.’
    • ‘The idea has been mooted before but this time there's actually money flowing into the pot.’
    • ‘The marina project has divided the town since the idea was first mooted.’
    • ‘The idea was mooted by locals and, at the end, very well supported by them.’
    • ‘However, some ideas being mooted include a water fountain and football area.’
    • ‘The proposals were first mooted in 1997 and since then the scheme has suffered a series of different set backs.’
    • ‘The proposals were mooted at a heated meeting in Wexford yesterday afternoon.’
    • ‘A proposal has also been mooted to market the products through a cooperative set-up.’
    • ‘The idea of a German market was first mooted by city chiefs three years ago.’
    • ‘Plans for a residents-only parking scheme have been mooted in a bid to tackle the problem.’
    • ‘More funds and heavier investment in the training of teachers was also mooted.’
    • ‘A number of projects have been mooted for the power station but there is nothing definite to date.’
    • ‘However, since the plans were first mooted three years ago the development has attracted a lot of criticism.’
    • ‘There is talk of landowners denying the armed forces access to their firing ranges and a blockade of London is mooted.’
    • ‘It's been a decade since the project was mooted and it has gone through a maze of approvals and reviews.’
    raise, bring up, broach, mention, put forward, introduce, advance, present, propose, suggest, submit, propound, air, ventilate
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  • 1historical An assembly held for debate, especially in Anglo-Saxon and medieval times.

    ‘Even if, as some have supposed, the manor court, or hall moot, had Anglo-Saxon forebears, it was an institution that must have changed out of all recognition after 1100.’
    • ‘After the mid-16th century Reformation, when religious guilds were dissolved, it was used as a market cross and as a moot hall.’
    • ‘Joseph Gerrald, after all, had proposed the Convention, likening it to the folk moot of Saxon England.’
    1. 1.1A regular gathering of people having a common interest.
      ‘I heard the pagans hang out there for moots.’
      • ‘Get to know as many people in the Pagan community as you can by going to moots, meetings, camps, festivals and so on.’
      • ‘Basically they are people who follow the path on their own without the need for moots or covens.’
      • ‘This is why I tend to be an advocate for joining groups - not only magical ‘working’ groups but going along to pagan moots and the like too.’
      • ‘I attended a moot in my town a couple of times, but always felt on the outside looking in.’
  • 2Law
    A mock trial set up to examine a hypothetical case as an academic exercise.

    ‘the object of a moot is to provide practice in developing an argument’
    • ‘The last time I was there, nearly a decade ago, I was a law student competing in the Jessup International Law moot.’
    • ‘Thanks do not go out to my alarm clocks, which failed to work this morning resulting in my awakening in absolute panic at 2 pm, with only one third of the moot prepared.’
    • ‘The moot is tomorrow, my point of law absurdly impossible to argue, and the prospect of sleep tonight absurdly impossible to contemplate.’
    • ‘I won the moot, despite having to argue an unwinnable point of law.’
    • ‘I had never studied international law before the gruelling four months of my life that the moot eventually consumed.’


Note that a question subject to debate or dispute is a moot point, not a mute point. As moot is a relatively uncommon word, people sometimes mistakenly interpret it as the more familar word mute


Old English mōt ‘assembly or meeting’ and mōtian ‘to converse’, of Germanic origin; related to meet. The adjective (originally an attributive noun use: see moot court) dates from the mid 16th century; the current verb sense dates from the mid 17th century.