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mule1

[myool] /myul/
noun
1.
the sterile offspring of a female horse and a male donkey, valued as a work animal, having strong muscles, a body shaped like a horse, and donkeylike long ears, small feet, and sure-footedness.
Compare hinny1 .
2.
any hybrid between the donkey and the horse.
3.
Informal. a very stubborn person.
4.
Botany. any sterile hybrid.
5.
Slang. a person paid to carry or transport contraband, especially drugs, for a smuggler.
6.
a small locomotive used for pulling rail cars, as in a coal yard or on an industrial site, or for towing, as of ships through canal locks.
7.
Also called spinning mule. a machine for spinning cotton or other fibers into yarn and winding the yarn on spindles.
8.
Nautical. a large triangular staysail set between two masts and having its clew set well aft.
9.
Numismatics. a hybrid coin having the obverse of one issue and the reverse of the succeeding issue, or vice versa.
10.
Biology. a hybrid, especially one between the canary and some other finch.
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English < Old French < Latin mūla mule (feminine); replacing Old English mūl < Latin mūlus (masculine)

mule2

[myool] /myul/
noun
1.
a lounging slipper that covers the toes and instep or only the instep.
2.
a woman's shoe resembling this.
Origin
1350-1400; Middle English: sore spot on the heel, chilblain, perhaps < Middle Dutch mūle
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for mules
  • They still had to bring in mules, but they felt ok about it.
  • In a large pack-train much time and labor are lost every morning collecting the mules which strayed while grazing.
  • mules, motorcycles, and roaring pickup trucks compete for space on the gutted road.
  • All those mules with their forelegs broken pushed over into the shallow water.
  • Among the family's few possessions are two white mules and a television set.
  • mules in particular are adept at kicking forward with their hind feet, a practice sometimes described as a cow kick.
  • mules are the result of mating between horses and donkeys.
  • There is a long tradition of horses and mules helping visitors reach the high country.
  • Ropes were tied to the boat and to the horses or mules.
  • Legal hunting activities may use horses and mules during specified hunting seasons.
British Dictionary definitions for mules

mules

/mjuːlz/
verb
1.
(transitive) (Austral) to perform the Mules operation on (a sheep)

mule1

/mjuːl/
noun
1.
the sterile offspring of a male donkey and a female horse, used as a beast of burden Compare hinny1
2.
any hybrid animal a mule canary
3.
Also called spinning mule. a machine invented by Samuel Crompton that spins cotton into yarn and winds the yarn on spindles
4.
(informal) an obstinate or stubborn person
5.
(slang) a person who is paid to transport illegal drugs for a dealer
Word Origin
C13: from Old French mul, from Latin mūlus ass, mule

mule2

/mjuːl/
noun
1.
a backless shoe or slipper
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for mules
mule
"offspring of donkey and horse," O.E. mul, O.Fr. mul (fem. mule), both from L. 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. Meaning "stubborn person" is from 1848; that of "narcotics smuggler or courier" first attested 1935. O.Fr. mul was replaced in Fr. by dim. form mulet, hence muleteer "mule driver" (1538), from Fr. muletier.
mule
"loose slipper," 1560s, from M.Fr., from L. mulleus calceus "red high-soled shoe," worn by Roman patricians, from mullus "red" (see mullet). Related: Mules.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for mules

mule

noun
  1. A stubborn person: He's a hardheaded mule (1848+)
  2. Crude raw whiskey; moonshine, white mule (1926+)
  3. A person who carries, delivers, or smuggles narcotics or other contraband: The danger to the mule is that a packet may rupture/ ''Mules'' carry coke in picture frames and sealed in the sides of suitcases/ American currency was spirited out of the country then, often by ''mules'' (1935+ Narcotics)
  4. A condom stuffed with narcotics, carried in the vagina or rectum (1970s+ Narcotics)
verb

: Sometimes they mule it in small amounts/ otherwise law-abiding countrymen into performing muling favors


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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mules in the Bible

(Heb. pered), so called from the quick step of the animal or its power of carrying loads. It is not probable that the Hebrews bred mules, as this was strictly forbidden in the law (Lev. 19:19), although their use was not forbidden. We find them in common use even by kings and nobles (2 Sam. 18:9; 1 Kings 1:33; 2 Kings 5:17; Ps. 32:9). They are not mentioned, however, till the time of David, for the word rendered "mules" (R.V. correctly, "hot springs") in Gen. 36:24 (yemim) properly denotes the warm springs of Callirhoe, on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea. In David's reign they became very common (2 Sam. 13:29; 1 Kings 10:25). Mules are not mentioned in the New Testament. Perhaps they had by that time ceased to be used in Palestine.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with mules
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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