Definition of mote in English:

mote

noun

  • A tiny piece of a substance; a speck.

    ‘the tiniest mote of dust’
    • ‘‘Sorry,’ I said, trying to find my wallet in my coat pockets, retrieving dust motes and chocolate instead.’
    • ‘This little speck of a girl - no more than a mote of dust in the cosmic sense of things - was questioning her operation and her wisdom, her very essence of being.’
    • ‘Tiny water droplets are borne on the air like dust motes, sparkling in the glare from the banks of fluorescent lights in the canopy above the petrol pumps.’
    • ‘Later I was in the living room watching dust motes circulating through a shaft of sunlight when the phone rang.’
    • ‘There's a constant stream of planktonic motes going past.’
    • ‘I could see dust motes in a shaft of light that cut across my cubicle.’
    • ‘Over the past century, physicists have pushed back the frontier of the small - from dust motes to atoms to protons and neutrons to quarks.’
    • ‘Flatten yourself against the window, and let the world tilt forward until you're gazing down through the fine transparent barrier, scattered with reassuring dust motes and the glimmer of reflection.’
    • ‘Sometimes the light outside penetrates the shadows in shafts, and dust motes float in the silence, flying like fairies… or miracles.’
    • ‘A beam of light had broken through the canopy and caught the motes of dust and tiny midges floating around in the golden light.’
    • ‘But a Leonid meteor is tiny, a supersonic mote of dust.’
    • ‘Many scenes are heavily marred by dust motes, particularly those which take place at night or in shadow.’
    speck, particle, grain, spot, fleck, atom, scintilla, mite
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • a mote in someone's eye

    • A minor fault in a person observed by someone who ignores a greater fault in themselves.

      ‘before the Minister takes the mote out of Europe's eye, should not he take the beam out of his own?’
      • ‘I seem to recall something in the Bible about removing the mote from one's own eye before pointing to the splinter in someone else's.’
      • ‘If this fight is only to be a yelling match about the motes in each other's eyes I am not interested in participating.’
      • ‘But if he noticed the beam in the eye of the other, he could not see the mote in his own.’
      • ‘So East had a mote in his eye and was fortunate that his partner did not notice it.’
      • ‘I despise how easily these extremists strive to pluck the mote out of someone else's eye while leaving the well-rooted tree that's in their own.’
      • ‘Ever since Black Wednesday, in March 1996, the rest of Europe has regarded BSE as being a peculiarly British disease, but these last 12 months have seen a rude awakening to the mote in their own eye.’
      • ‘Look at the mote in your own eye first, congressman.’
      • ‘If locals want to pluck the mote of financial mismanagement from the eye of their Government they need to start by removing the planks of laziness and indifference from their own.’
      • ‘And to the British and European hypocrites who thought this was a good idea, I say remove the beam from your own eye before taking the mote from my eye.’

Origin

Old English mot, related to Dutch mot dust, sawdust.

Pronunciation:

mote

/məʊt/