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remora

[rem-er-uh]
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noun
  1. any of several fishes of the family Echeneididae, having on the top of the head a sucking disk by which they can attach themselves to sharks, turtles, ships, and other moving objects.
  2. Archaic. an obstacle, hindrance, or obstruction.
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Origin of remora

1560–70; < Latin: literally, delay, hindrance, derivative of remorārī to linger, delay, equivalent to re- re- + morārī to delay
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for remora

remora

noun
  1. any of the marine spiny-finned fishes constituting the family Echeneidae . They have a flattened elongated body and attach themselves to larger fish, rocks, etc, by a sucking disc on the top of the head
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Word Origin

C16: from Latin, from re- + mora delay; an allusion to its alleged habit of delaying ships
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 remora

n.

1560s, from Latin remora "sucking fish," literally "delay, hindrance," from re- "back" (see re-) + mora "delay" (see moratorium); so called because the fish were believed by the ancients to retard a vessel to which they attached themselves. Hence, in 17c.-18c., "an obstacle, an impediment" (the first sense of the word in Johnson's dictionary). In Greek, ekheneis, from ekhein "to hold" + naus (dative nei) "ship." Pliny writes that Antony's galley was delayed by one at Actium. Sometimes called in English stayship or stopship.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper