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molt (verb) (of birds and animals) lose feathers and hair before getting new feathers and hair grow.
When an animal or a bird molts, it sheds its hair or feathers so that new ones can grow in their place. Birds molt if they lose feathers, and animals lose their hair if they molt. In both the cases new ones grow in place of the hair and feathers lost.
- As they wandered through the woods, they came across feathers of a bird scattered all over the place. Some bird must have molted, they thought.
- As it began to molt, the dog lost all its hair and looked rather ugly.