Earlier mus, moos, from a Northeastern Algonquian language name for the animal, such as Massachusett moos, mws, Narragansett moos or Penobscot mos (cognate to Abenaki moz), from Proto-Algonquian *mo·swa (“it strips”), referring to how a moose strips tree bark when feeding: compare Massachusett moos-u (“he strips, cuts smooth”).
moose (plural moose or (dated) mooses)
- (US) The largest member of the deer family (Alces alces), of which the male has very large, palmate antlers.
- We saw a moose at the edge of the woods.
- (informal) An ugly person.
- The usual plural of moose is moose; compare the names of many animals, such as deer and fish, which are also invariant. Other plurals are rare and nonstandard: mooses (with the usual English plural-forming suffix -s), meese (jocularly formed by analogy to goose → geese).
- (largest member of the deer family (Alces alces)): elk (British), Newfoundland speed bump (Canadian, humorous)
- → Irish: mús
moose (plural mooses)