also moulder, "to crumble away, turn to mold or dust by natural decay," 1530s, probably frequentative based on mold (n.3) "loose earth." Related: Moldered; moldering.
also moulder, mid-15c. (late 13c. as a surname), "one who molds or forms into shape," agent noun from mold (v.).
*melə-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to crush, grind," with derivatives referring to ground or crumbling substances and crushing or grinding instruments.
It forms all or part of: amyl; amyloid; blintz; emmer; emolument; immolate; maelstrom; mall; malleable; malleolus; mallet; malleus; maul; meal (n.2) "edible ground grain;" mill (n.1) "building fitted to grind grain;" millet; mola; molar (n.); mold (n.3) "loose earth;" molder; ormolu; pall-mall.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Hittite mallanzi "they grind;" Armenian malem "I crush, bruise;" Greek mylos "millstone," myle "mill;" Latin molere "to grind," mola "millstone, mill," milium "millet;" Old English melu "meal, flour;" Albanian miel "meal, flour;" Old Church Slavonic meljo, Lithuanian malu, malti "to grind;" Old Church Slavonic mlatu, Russian molotu "hammer."
"a putrid state; tendency to decay," 1640s, from Latin putrescentem (nominative putrescens), present participle of putrescere "grow rotten, molder, decay," inchoative of putrere "be rotten" (see putrid). Related: Putrescency.
Meaning "prose works (not dramatic) of the imagination" is from 1590s, at first often including plays and poems. Narrower sense of "the part of literature comprising novels and short stories based on imagined scenes or characters" is by early 19c. The legal sense (fiction of law) is from 1580s. A writer of fiction could be a fictionist (1827). The related Latin words included the literal notion "worked by hand," as well as the figurative senses of "invented in the mind; artificial, not natural": Latin fictilis "made of clay, earthen;" fictor "molder, sculptor" (also borrowed 17c. in English), but also of Ulysses as "master of deceit;" fictum "a deception, falsehood; fiction."