mule

1
[myool]

noun


Origin of mule

1
before 1000; Middle English < Old French < Latin mūla mule (feminine); replacing Old English mūl < Latin mūlus (masculine)

mule

2
[myool]

noun

a lounging slipper that covers the toes and instep or only the instep.
a woman's shoe resembling this.

Origin of mule

2
1350–1400; Middle English: sore spot on the heel, chilblain, perhaps < Middle Dutch mūle
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


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British Dictionary definitions for mules

mules

verb

(tr) Australian to perform the Mules operation on (a sheep)

mule

1

noun

the sterile offspring of a male donkey and a female horse, used as a beast of burdenCompare hinny 1
any hybrid animala mule canary
Also called: spinning mule a machine invented by Samuel Crompton that spins cotton into yarn and winds the yarn on spindles
informal an obstinate or stubborn person
slang a person who is paid to transport illegal drugs for a dealer

Word Origin for mule

C13: from Old French mul, from Latin mūlus ass, mule

mule

2

noun

a backless shoe or slipper

Word Origin for mule

C16: from Old French from Latin mulleus a magistrate's shoe
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 mules

mule

n.1

"offspring of donkey and horse," from Old English mul, Old French mul "mule, hinny" (12c., fem. mule), both from Latin mulus (fem. mula) "a mule," probably from a pre-Latin Mediterranean language.

The mule combines the strength of the horse with the endurance and surefootedness of the ass, and is extensively bred for certain employments for which it is more suited than either; it is ordinarily incapable of procreation. With no good grounds, the mule is a proverbial type of obstinacy. [OED]

Properly, the offspring of a he-ass and a mare; that of a she-ass and a stallion is technically a hinny. Used allusively of hybrids and things of mixed nature. As a type of spinning machine, attested from 1797 (so called because a hybrid of distinct warp and woof machines). Meaning "obstinate, stupid, or stubborn person" is from 1470s; that of "narcotics smuggler or courier" first attested 1935.

mule

n.2

"loose slipper," 1560s, from Middle French mule, from Latin mulleus calceus "red high-soled shoe," worn by Roman patricians, from mullus "red" (see mullet (n.1)). Related: Mules.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with mules

mule

see stubborn as a mule.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.