Molly Maguire

Molly Maguire

[muh-gwahyuhr]
noun
1.
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.
2.
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:
1865–70, Americanism

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World English Dictionary
Molly Maguire (ˈmɒlɪ məˈɡwaɪə)
 
n
1.  Irish history a member of a secret society that terrorized law officers during the 1840s to prevent evictions
2.  (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
 
[C19: the name refers to the female disguise adopted by members of these societies]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

Molly Maguire
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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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