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v. molt·ed, molt·ing, molts
To shed part or all of a coat or an outer covering, such as feathers, cuticle, or skin, which is then replaced by a new growth.
To shed or cast off (a bodily covering).
1. The act or process of molting.
2. The material cast off during molting.

[Alteration of Middle English mouten, from Old English -mūtian (in bemūtian, to exchange for), from Latin mūtāre, to change; see mei- in Indo-European roots.]

molt′er n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.molting - periodic shedding of the cuticle in arthropods or the outer skin in reptilesmolting - periodic shedding of the cuticle in arthropods or the outer skin in reptiles
shedding, sloughing - the process whereby something is shed
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
[I have seen that remark before somewhere.] The pier was crowded with carriages and men; passengers were arriving and hurrying on board; the vessel's decks were encumbered with trunks and valises; groups of excursionists, arrayed in unattractive traveling costumes, were moping about in a drizzling rain and looking as droopy and woebegone as so many molting chickens.
Molting abnormalities of Chinese Mitten Crab (Eriocheir sinensis) can seriously affect their growth, causing significant losses to the aquaculture industry.
Also, a chitinase is known to exist in this species, probably for the purpose of molting, but activity in the gut or a role in digestion remains to be shown.
Feeding programs to induce molting in Japanese Quails (Coturnix japonica).
N-acetylglucosamino-1,5-lactone (NAGL) is a molting biomarker in the blue crab Callinectes sapidus.
An adult Ancient Murrelet beached in September 1976 (Alaska Peninsula) and a probable second-year murrelet beached in July 1987 (Oregon) were synchronously molting remiges.
Abstract: Handling, including blood collection, has often been discouraged in molting penguins because it is considered an additional stress imposed on birds already experiencing major physiologic stress associated with molting.
The work is the first to show that molting can safeguard against parasites, says evolutionary biologist David Duneau of Cornell University.
Our objectives were thus to identify the molting and wintering areas of birds breeding in Ungava Bay and to compare their home-range sizes during the pre-molt, molt, post-molt, and winter periods.
This annual molt is energetically demanding (Murphy and King, 1991) and critical to survival of birds; yet strategies of molting in birds are poorly documented in comparison to strategies of breeding, wintering, and migration.
Scorpion molting is well understood (Polis 1990; Brownell & Polis 2001; Gaban & Farley 2002).