When an animal molts, it loses its feathers, fur, skin or maybe even outer skeleton. People don’t molt, but plenty of animals do as a normal part of their life cycle.

Despite the guarantees made by late night advertisements, once a human is bald, he’s bald forever. Not so for many animals who routinely lose and gain hair, skin or feathers. Think of shedding dogs and snakes crawling out of their old skins. This is the process known as molting. Insects that molt lose their shells or wings, often a sign that they’re entering a different part of their life cycle.

Definitions of molt
  1. verb

    cast off hair, skin, horn, or feathers

    exuviate, moult, shed, slough
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    desquamate, peel off

    peel off in scales
    type of:

    cast, cast off, drop, shake off, shed, throw, throw away, throw off

    get rid of

  2. noun

    periodic shedding of the cuticle in arthropods or the outer skin in reptiles

    ecdysis, molting, moult, moulting
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    type of:

    shedding, sloughing

    the process whereby something is shed

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