Molly Maguire

[ muh-gwahyuh r ]
/ məˈgwaɪər /


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.

Origin of Molly Maguire

An Americanism dating back to 1865–70 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for molly maguire

Molly Maguire
/ (ˈmɒlɪ məˈɡwaɪə) /


Irish history a member of a secret society that terrorized law officers during the 1840s to prevent evictions
(in Pennsylvania from about 1865 to 1877) a member of a society of miners that terrorized mine owners and their agents in an effort to obtain better pay

Word Origin for Molly Maguire

C19: the name refers to the female disguise adopted by members of these societies
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