One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A tiny piece of a substance.‘the tiniest mote of dust’
speck, particle, grain, spot, fleck, atom, scintilla, miteView synonyms
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘There's a constant stream of planktonic motes going past.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Later I was in the living room watching dust motes circulating through a shaft of sunlight when the phone rang.’
- ‘‘Sorry,’ I said, trying to find my wallet in my coat pockets, retrieving dust motes and chocolate instead.’
- ‘I could see dust motes in a shaft of light that cut across my cubicle.’
- ‘Sometimes the light outside penetrates the shadows in shafts, and dust motes float in the silence, flying like fairies… or miracles.’
- ‘Over the past century, physicists have pushed back the frontier of the small - from dust motes to atoms to protons and neutrons to quarks.’
a mote in someone's eye
A fault in a person that is less serious than one in someone else who is being critical.
- ‘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.’
- ‘But if he noticed the beam in the eye of the other, he could not see the mote in his 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.’
- ‘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 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.’
- ‘So East had a mote in his eye and was fortunate that his partner did not notice it.’
- ‘Look at the mote in your own eye first, congressman.’
- ‘If this fight is only to be a yelling match about the motes in each other's eyes I am not interested in participating.’
Old English mot, related to Dutch mot ‘dust, sawdust’.
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