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
C16: from Latin, from re- + mora delay; an allusion to its alleged habit of delaying ships
"sucking fish," 1567, from L. remora, lit. "delay, hindrance," from re- "back" + mora "delay;" so called because the fish were believed by the ancients to retard a vessel to which they attached themselves. Pliny writes that Antony's galley was delayed by one at the Battle of Actium. Sometimes called in Eng. stayship or stopship.