See also: möät


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From Middle English mote, from Old French mote (mound, embankment); compare also Old French motte (hillock, lump, clod, turf), from Medieval Latin mota (a mound, hill), of Germanic origin, perhaps via Frankish *mot, *motta (mud, peat, bog, turf), from Proto-Germanic *mutô, *mudraz, *muþraz (dirt, filth, mud, swamp), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)mut- (dark, dirty). Cognate with Alemannic German Mott, Mutte (peat, turf), Bavarian Mott (peat, turf), dialectal Dutch mot (dust, fine sand), Saterland Frisian mut (grit, litter, humus), Swedish muta (to drizzle), Old English mot (speck, particle). More at mote, mud, smut.

As term for a business strategy popularized by American investor Warren Buffett.



moat (plural moats)

  1. A deep, wide defensive ditch, normally filled with water, surrounding a fortified habitation.
    Synonym: fosse
  2. (business, figuratively) An aspect of a business which makes it more "defensible" from competitors, either because of the nature of its products, services, franchise or other reason.
    • 2013, John Mauldin; Jonathan Tepper, Code Red: How to Protect Your Savings From the Coming Crisis[1], John Wiley & Sons, →ISBN:
      No matter how good your company's product is or how quickly the industry is growing, if there is no moat, competitors will invade your castle and burn it down.
    • 2018 May 7, Andrew Ross Sorkin, quoting Elon Musk, “Elon Musk Wants to Fill Warren Buffett’s ‘Moat’ With Candy, but It Still Holds Water”, in The New York Times[2], ISSN 0362-4331:
      “I think ‘moats’ are lame,” Mr. Musk had said during a Tesla earnings call. It was a criticism of an economic principle that Mr. Buffett had coined in 1999 and that has become something of a mantra for his faithful: Invest in businesses “that have wide, sustainable moats around them.”
  3. A circular lowland between a resurgent dome and the walls of the caldera surrounding it.
  4. (obsolete) A hill or mound.


See alsoEdit


moat (third-person singular simple present moats, present participle moating, simple past and past participle moated)

  1. (transitive) To surround with a moat.




  • IPA(key): /ˈmoɑt/, [ˈmo̞ɑt̪]
  • IPA(key): /ˈmoːɑt/, [ˈmo̞ːɑt̪]
  • Rhymes: -oɑt
  • Syllabification: mo‧at



  1. Nominative plural form of moa.