How Do You Spell MOTE?

Pronunciation: [mˈə͡ʊt] (IPA)

The word "mote" is spelled with four letters, starting with the voiceless bilabial consonant "m", followed by the open-mid back rounded vowel "o", and ending with the voiceless dental fricative consonant "t". The pronunciation is represented in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) as /moʊt/. This word can have various meanings such as a small particle or speck of dust, a tiny bit of something, or a minute creature. Its spelling may be confusing for non-native speakers due to its silent "e" at the end.

MOTE Meaning and Definition

  1. Mote, as a noun, refers to a tiny particle or speck of matter, typically observed floating in the air or suspended in a liquid. It is characterized by its minuscule size and often imperceptible nature. Motes are commonly formed from dust, pollen, fibers, or other small fragments that are easily airborne or found in fluids. Due to their smallness, motes may appear as glistening or shimmering dots of light, particularly when illuminated by sunlight or other sources of illumination.

    The term "mote" can also be used metaphorically to describe insignificant or trivial things, such as a small particle or trace of something. In this sense, it implies the idea of something being of little consequence or importance, typically in relation to a larger subject or context. It signifies an element or detail that may go unnoticed or be easily dismissed.

    Furthermore, "mote" can be used in literary contexts, particularly in expressions like "the mote and the beam." This phrase refers to a biblical proverb, where the mote refers to a tiny particle and the beam denotes a large, significant object. It conveys the notion of being more critical of small faults present in others while disregarding one's own greater faults.

    Overall, "mote" is primarily associated with a small speck of matter or an insignificant element, either literally or metaphorically, highlighting its diminutive size and limited impact.

  2. A small particle, as of dust; anything proverbially small.

    Etymological and pronouncing dictionary of the English language. By Stormonth, James, Phelp, P. H. Published 1874.

Common Misspellings for MOTE

Etymology of MOTE

The word "mote" derives from Old English "mātan" or "motan", which meant "to be able to". Over time, the word evolved to include the meaning of "to be allowed to" or "must", and eventually, it came to refer to a small particle or speck, particularly when used in phrases like "a mote in one's eye" to describe a tiny foreign object.

Idioms with the word MOTE

  • mote in the eye The idiom "mote in the eye" is derived from a biblical saying and refers to a person's tendency to focus on and criticize minor faults or flaws in others while being oblivious to their own major faults or shortcomings. It implies that individuals often judge others without recognizing or acknowledging their own imperfections.
  • a mote in someone's eye The idiom "a mote in someone's eye" refers to a situation where someone is pointing out or criticizing another person's minor fault or flaw while being oblivious to their own significant flaws or errors. It implies that the person making the judgment is not being fair or objective in their assessment.

Similar spelling words for MOTE

Plural form of MOTE is MOTES


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