Irish History. a member of a secret terrorist society organized in Ireland in 1843 to prevent evictions by the government: so called because the members disguised themselves as women.
U.S. History. a member of a former secret association, organized about 1865, that terrorized the mine operators' agents in an effort to get relief from oppressive conditions in the anthracite coal-mining regions of Pennsylvania: ceased to function about 1877.
secret society in the mining districts of Pennsylvania, 1867 (suppressed 1876); named for earlier secret society formed in Ireland (1843) to resist payment of rents. From Molly (see Moll) + common Irish surname Maguire. Memebers were said to sometimes wear women's clothing as disguise.