gigantic flightless bird of New Zealand, 1842, a native Maori name. They were hunted to extinction by the Maori by 1500 C.E.
Pacific island, an indigenous name, said to be from the name of a Polynesian chieftain, or else meaning "place of the moa." Related: Samoan (by 1837).
c. 1300, mote "a mound, a hill" (a sense now obsolete); late 14c., "ditch or deep trench dug round the rampart of a castle or other fortified place," from Old French mote "mound, hillock, embankment; castle built on a hill" (12c.; Modern French motte) and directly from Medieval Latin mota "mound, fortified height," a word of unknown origin, perhaps from Gaulish mutt, mutta.
The sense shifted in Norman French from the castle mound to the ditch dug around it. For a similar evolution, compare ditch (n.) and dike. As a verb, "to surround with a moat," early 15c. Related: Moated.
c. 1200, mon, "lamentation, mourning, weeping; complaining, the expressing of complaints; a complaint; lover's complaint; accusation, charge," perhaps from an unrecorded Old English *mān "complaint," from mānan, a variant of mænan "complain, moan," also "tell, intend, signify" (see mean (v.1)); but OED discounts this connection. Meaning "long, low inarticulate murmur expressing grief or pain" is by 1670s, "with onomatopoeic suggestion" [OED].
mid-13c., monen, "mourn (someone); regret, bewail;" c. 1300, "to lament inarticulately, grieve; utter mournfully;" probably from Old English *mānan, a variant of mænan "to lament" (see moan (n.)). From late 14c. as "complain, tell one's troubles." From 1724 as "to make a low sound expressive of physical or mental suffering." Related: Moaned; moaning.