Skip to main content
Select Source:

mole

mole in proverbial use often referred to as the type of a blind creature. The mole was also toasted by Jacobites as the little gentleman in black velvet, in reference to the death of William III, said to have been caused by a fall from his horse which had stumbled on a molehill (the small mound of earth thrown up by a mole burrowing near the surface).

From the early 1920s, mole has been used allusively to designate a spy who achieves over a long period an important position within the security defences of a country, or someone within an organization who anonymously betrays confidential information.

See also make a mountain out of a molehill.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"mole." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"mole." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/mole

"mole." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved July 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/mole

mole

mole3
A. (stone) pier or breakwater, (hence) harbour
;
B. † large mass XVI. — F. môle — It. molo — medGr. môlos, mólos — L. mōlēs shapeless mass, huge bulk (whence sense B), dam, pier.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"mole." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"mole." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/mole-4

"mole." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved July 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/mole-4

mole

mole1 † discoloured spot OE.; spot or blemish on the human skin XIV. OE. māl, corr. to MLG. mēl, OHG. meil, meila, Goth. *mail (in g. pl. maile):- Gmc. *mailam, -ōn, whence also OE. mælan, OHG. meilen stain.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"mole." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"mole." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/mole-2

"mole." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved July 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/mole-2

mole (in anatomy)

mole: see birthmark.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"mole (in anatomy)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"mole (in anatomy)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/mole-anatomy

"mole (in anatomy)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved July 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/mole-anatomy

mole

molebarcarole, bole, bowl, cajole, coal, Cole, condole, console, control, dhole, dole, droll, enrol (US enroll), extol, foal, goal, hole, Joel, knoll, kohl, mol, mole, Nicole, parol, parole, patrol, pole, poll, prole, rôle, roll, scroll, Seoul, shoal, skoal, sole, soul, stole, stroll, thole, Tirol, toad-in-the-hole, toll, troll, vole, whole •Creole •carriole, dariole •cabriole • capriole •aureole, gloriole, oriole •wassail-bowl • fishbowl • dustbowl •punchbowl • rocambole • farandole •girandole • manhole • rathole •armhole • arsehole • hellhole •keyhole, kneehole •peephole •sinkhole • pinhole • cubbyhole •hidey-hole • pigeonhole •eyehole, spyhole •foxhole •knothole, pothole •borehole, Warhol •porthole • soundhole • blowhole •stokehole • bolthole • loophole •lughole, plughole •chuckhole • buttonhole • bunghole •earhole • waterhole • wormhole •charcoal • caracole • Seminole •pinole

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"mole." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"mole." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/mole-0

"mole." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved July 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/mole-0