He fell in the moat around the castle.
Consider the two sentences above and try to figure out what moat and mote mean from their respective sentences. Can you do that? If so, good for you, but if you have no idea what either one or both of the homophones (words with similar pronunciation but different meanings and spellings) mean or represent, keep reading the following article for you have landed on the right page.
Moat as noun:
Moat is used as a noun in English language where it has only one single meaning that is a deep, wide ditch surrounding a castle, fort, or town, typically filled with water and intended as a defense against attack.
Moat as verb:
Mote as noun:
In it, Charon’s surface is smooth, with a smattering of craters and cracks – and there’s a bizarre mountain rising out of a depression that has been called a “mountain in a moat.” (National Geographic)
Lastly, are you more concerned about vetting your own party or religious fellowship for loons, nutcases, and potentially embarrassing corruption, or do you ignore the beam in your identity group’s eye in favor of loudly and publicly obsessing over the mote in the eye of the opposition? (American Thinker)
Moat or mote:
A moat is a broad, deep ditch that is dug around a castle or other fortress as a defense against attack. Usually, a moat is filled with water. Moat may also be used as a transitive verb, meaning to surround something in the fashion of a moat. Castles or other fortresses that are surrounded by moats usually have a drawbridge that is lowered to allow friendly visitors to cross the moat and go inside. Moat comes from the fourteenth century Old French word mote, meaning mound, hillock, embankment, and castle built on a hill. A mote is a speck, a tiny substance. The phrase a mote in someone’s eye refers to a person complaining about another person’s minor fault (the mote in the person’s eye) while ignoring his own, much greater fault. Mote comes from the Dutch word, mot, meaning dust from turf, sawdust or grit.