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remora

[rem-er-uh] /ˈrɛm ər ə/
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.
Origin
1560-1570
1560-70; < Latin: literally, delay, hindrance, derivative of remorārī to linger, delay, equivalent to re- re- + morārī to delay
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British Dictionary definitions for re mora

remora

/ˈrɛmərə/
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
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
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Word Origin and History for re mora

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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