Webster 1913 Edition



In a musty state.

Webster 1828 Edition



[from musty.] Moldily; sourly.

Definition 2022





mustily (comparative more mustily, superlative most mustily)

  1. In a musty manner.
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, Essayes, translated by John Florio, The Second Chapter, “Of Repenting,”
      [] nor are there any spirits, or very rare ones, which in growing old taste not sowrely and mustily.
    • 1620, Thomas Middleton and William Rowley, The World Tost at Tennis,
      All this is but a light-headed understanding now; I mean, why so melancholy? thou lookest mustily, methinks.
    • 1871, Richard Rowe, Episodes in an Obscure Life, New York: George Routledge & Sons, Chapter 30, p. 370,
      My little guide steered me up a filthy, crooked, crazy staircase to an upper floor so lighted, and into a room that smelt of sawdust, shavings, glue, shellac, rancidly-oiled metal, and all kinds of rankly or mustily malodorous muddle.
    • 1903, Henry Dwight Sedgwick, “Montaigne” in Essays on Great Writers, Houghton, Mifflin & Co., p. 101,
      He was no student mustily thinking in a dead language, but a gentleman in waiting to the king, knight of the Order of St. Michael, writing in fresh, poetic French, with all the captivation of charm, teaching the fundamental principles of doubt and uncertainty []
    • 1908, O. Henry, “The Shocks of Doom” in The Voice of The City: Further Stories of the Four Million, Doubleday, Page & Co., 1914, pp. 96-7,
      He was either young or old; cheap lodging-houses had flavored him mustily; razors and combs had passed him by; in him drink had been bottled and sealed in the devil’s bond.
    • 1912, Booth Tarkington, Beauty and the Jacobin: an Interlude of the French Revolution, Harper & Bros., p. 2,
      The single window, square and mustily curtained, is so small that it cannot be imagined to admit much light on the brightest of days []
    • 1961, V. S. Naipaul, A House for Mr Biswas, Vintage International, 2001, Part Two, Chapter 1,
      He felt he was intruding, and hurried past the door with the coloured glass panes into the Book Room, which smelled mustily of old paper and worm-eaten wood.