• WordNet 3.6
    • adj moth-eaten lacking originality or spontaneity; no longer new "moth-eaten theories about race","stale news"
    • adj moth-eaten worn or eaten away by (or as if by) moths "moth-eaten blankets"
    • adj moth-eaten showing signs of wear and tear "a ratty old overcoat","shabby furniture","an old house with dirty windows and tatty curtains"
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Moth-eaten eaten or cut by moths.
    • adj Moth-eaten eaten or cut by moths
    • ***


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. moþþe, mohþe; Ger. motte.


In literature:

It is often weak and reluctant, riddled with timidities, or moth-eaten with worldly ease.
"My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year" by John Henry Jowett
Seeing real live animals was so different from the stuffed and moth-eaten ones at Barnum's.
"A Little Girl of Long Ago" by Amanda Millie Douglas
As he cantered up the road, Billy Underwood, mounted on a moth-eaten pony, saluted with dignity.
"Still Jim" by Honoré Willsie Morrow
The furniture was dilapidated, and the coverings of it were worn and moth-eaten.
"Rollo in Scotland" by Jacob Abbott
What do I care for my noble forefathers, for my moth-eaten prejudices, for all the Febrers?
"The Dead Command" by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez
Faded, moth-eaten, gone in places, it seemed to ask us with dying eyes to be taken hence.
"The Last American" by J. A. Mitchell
Your riches are corrupted and your garments are moth-eaten.
"Doctor Jones' Picnic" by S. E. Chapman
The cows were faded and moth-eaten, but well fed.
"Kings in Exile" by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
BLANKETS, if not in constant use, are liable to be moth-eaten.
"The Cook and Housekeeper's Complete and Universal Dictionary; Including a System of Modern Cookery, in all Its Various Branches," by Mary Eaton
Here there was nothing to bar his progress except some moth-eaten portieres.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science, March 1930" by Various

In poetry:

But his heart he saw, and he made a clutch
At the fungous puff-ball of sin:
Eaten with moths, and fretted with rust,
He grasped a handful of rotten dust,
And shrieked, as ghosts may, at the crumbling touch,
But hid it his breast within.
"For Where Your Treasure Is, There Will Your Heart Be Also" by George MacDonald

In news:

Renee leads knitting classes and does fine reweaving and repair work on even the most moth-eaten of sweaters.
It's Not Yet Curtains for A Moth-Eaten Metaphor.
Add a "moth-eaten" curtain for the perfect finishing touch.

In science:

We find that, all over from the dilute to the dense regime of pairs, Pauli blocking induces the same ”moth-eaten effect” as the one existing for composite boson excitons.
"Moth-eaten effect" driven by Pauli blocking, revealed for Cooper pairs
This ”moth-eaten” effect, which tends to decrease the effect for N as compared to 1, is actually quite standard in the many-body physics of excitons - which also are twofermion states.
"Moth-eaten effect" driven by Pauli blocking, revealed for Cooper pairs
This shows that the ”moth-eaten” effect - derived in the dilute limit - seems to stay valid in the dense BCS regime, where pairs strongly overlap.
"Moth-eaten effect" driven by Pauli blocking, revealed for Cooper pairs
In agreement with our understanding of the exciton many-body physics, the Pauli exclusion principle induces a ”moth-eaten effect” on Cooper pairs, unveiled here for the first time.
"Moth-eaten effect" driven by Pauli blocking, revealed for Cooper pairs