Definition of moot in US English:



  • 1Subject to debate, dispute, or uncertainty.

    ‘whether the temperature rise was mainly due to the greenhouse effect was a moot point’
    ‘it is a moot point whether such a controversial scheme would have succeeded’
    • ‘To what extent we are acculturated to human sound even before birth, given that the inner ear is formed so early in gestation, is a moot point.’
    • ‘Whether this defence will be accepted by the political sources who are the lifeblood of any newspaper is, for the time being, a moot point.’
    • ‘Founded six years ago and comprising nine core sports, it is essentially a support service to 244 elite athletes, though whether Scotland can really claim to have that many elite athletes is a moot point.’
    • ‘I recognize, however, that the relationship between the content of this literature and actual management accounting practice remains moot.’
    • ‘The motion explained that the company and the union had already reached an agreement on the retiree health benefit issue that made the previous dispute a moot point.’
    • ‘Thus, it is a moot question whether a child who learns all about traffic rules and signs through textbooks and in such parks, will abide by them, or instead imitate their elders.’
    • ‘It is a moot point that all serious coaches follow a particular style of play that becomes their signature or hallmark.’
    • ‘As a poet, he is now unfashionable, so it is a moot question whether a play based on him can be of any current interest.’
    • ‘Whether he is too softly spoken for the top job remains a moot point, but no-one can question his dedication because he spends six days of the week at Irish's training ground.’
    • ‘Whether such a system can remain in place in the increasingly competitive world of global car making remains a moot point.’
    • ‘But whether the industry can absorb all the qualified architects is a moot point.’
    • ‘Whether or not that support will be forthcoming in the numbers expected is a moot point following revelations about the parlous state of Britain's armed forces.’
    • ‘How great a comedian he was remains a moot point, inevitably subjective, and increasingly difficult to separate from the mythology.’
    • ‘How neurological the problem is, or how politically expedient, is a moot point.’
    • ‘Which of the two camps was having a better time may be a moot point, but there can be no dispute as to which was living most successfully in the here and now.’
    • ‘But, how well they are maintained or how far heritage preservation efforts are encouraged is a moot point.’
    • ‘Whether or not the broadcaster's blindness has made his hearing more acute is a moot point, but what can't be denied is that his ability to describe his remaining senses is second to none.’
    • ‘How much the appeal of this movie derives from its subject and how much from Spacey is a moot point, I suppose.’
    • ‘While conservation of ecology and bio-diversity have been a moot point on television and newspapers, Kartik feels that ecological studies are yet to get their due in the country.’
    • ‘Still, it's a moot point and one that lawyers will enjoy debating if they're given the chance.’
    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’
    • ‘But the time may be fast approaching when this debate becomes moot.’
    • ‘But now it's a moot point - the tickets have been sold, and I'm not going.’
    • ‘If a foetus is not human, then it is not protected under the law and the entire abortion debate is moot.’
    • ‘The question of whether slavery preceded racism or vice versa thus appears - if not exactly moot, then at least largely irrelevant.’
    • ‘At some point, this whole debate may be rendered moot.’
    • ‘I might or might not ever have children, so this might be a moot point.’
    • ‘It was months later when the Court produced its reasoning, and given the defendants had already been executed, it seemed a moot point.’


[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’
    • ‘The proposals were mooted at a heated meeting in Wexford yesterday afternoon.’
    • ‘Supporters have been waiting for a new stadium since the idea was first mooted more than 10 years ago.’
    • ‘However, since the plans were first mooted three years ago the development has attracted a lot of criticism.’
    • ‘He has already had his first meeting with the upper sixth council during which a number of suggestions were mooted.’
    • ‘A proposal has also been mooted to market the products through a cooperative set-up.’
    • ‘However, some ideas being mooted include a water fountain and football area.’
    • ‘More funds and heavier investment in the training of teachers was also mooted.’
    • ‘When Richard first mooted the idea of his book to his brother two years ago, David advised him on the business end of publishing.’
    • ‘There is talk of landowners denying the armed forces access to their firing ranges and a blockade of London is mooted.’
    • ‘Plans for a residents-only parking scheme have been mooted in a bid to tackle the problem.’
    • ‘The idea of a German market was first mooted by city chiefs three years ago.’
    • ‘The idea was mooted by locals and, at the end, very well supported by them.’
    • ‘The proposals were first mooted in 1997 and since then the scheme has suffered a series of different set backs.’
    • ‘It was he who first mooted the idea of a reunion seven years ago.’
    • ‘The idea has been mooted before but this time there's actually money flowing into the pot.’
    • ‘It's been a decade since the project was mooted and it has gone through a maze of approvals and reviews.’
    • ‘Once the idea was mooted, it struck a chord with other regional stock exchanges.’
    • ‘The marina project has divided the town since the idea was first mooted.’
    • ‘One possibility, which has increasingly been mooted, is the idea of a Universal Court for Human Rights.’
    • ‘A number of projects have been mooted for the power station but there is nothing definite to date.’
    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.’
    • ‘Joseph Gerrald, after all, had proposed the Convention, likening it to the folk moot of Saxon England.’
    • ‘After the mid-16th century Reformation, when religious guilds were dissolved, it was used as a market cross and as a moot hall.’
    1. 1.1 A regular gathering of people having a common interest.
      • ‘I heard the pagans hang out there for moots.’
      • ‘Basically they are people who follow the path on their own without the need for moots or covens.’
      • ‘I attended a moot in my town a couple of times, but always felt on the outside looking in.’
      • ‘Get to know as many people in the Pagan community as you can by going to moots, meetings, camps, festivals and so on.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 2Law
    A mock trial set up to examine a hypothetical case as an academic exercise.

    • ‘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.