• synonyms


noun, plural (especially collectively) mo·la, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) mo·las.
  1. any of several thin, silvery fishes of the family Molidae, of tropical and temperate seas.
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Compare ocean sunfish.

Origin of mola1

1595–1605; < Latin: millstone; so called from its shape


[moh-luh; Spanish maw-lah]
noun, plural mo·las [moh-luh z; Spanish maw-lahs] /ˈmoʊ ləz; Spanish ˈmɔ lɑs/.
  1. a colorfully appliquéd piece of fabric handcrafted by the Cuna Indian women of the islands in the Gulf of San Blas and used for clothing, decoration, etc.
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Origin of mola2

1940–45; < Cuna: clothing, blouse, mola
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mola

Historical Examples

  • The place where the diligence stopped was a town called Mola di Gaeta.

    Rollo in Rome

    Jacob Abbott

  • Left Mola at half-past seven and got here at ten minutes after seven.

    The Greville Memoirs

    Charles C. F. Greville

  • If the ascent to Mola is difficult, what can be said of the coming down?

    Vistas in Sicily

    Arthur Stanley Riggs

  • The site was doubtless near the Mola and the village Castiglione.

  • These, like the headfish (Mola mola) are protected by a leathery skin.

British Dictionary definitions for mola


noun plural -la or -las
  1. another name for sunfish (def. 1)
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Word Origin

C17: from Latin, literally: millstone
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for mola


type of fish, 1670s, from Latin mola, literally "millstone" (see molar). So called because of the fish's shape and rough skin.

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"false conception," c.1600, from Latin mola "false conception," from earlier sense "salt cake;" literally "millstone" (see molar).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper