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[rem-er-uh] /ˈrɛm ər ə/
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.
Archaic. an obstacle, hindrance, or obstruction.
Origin of remora
1560-70; < Latin: literally, delay, hindrance, derivative of remorārī to linger, delay, equivalent to re- re- + morārī to delay Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for remora
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Then the Firedrake stood groaning like a black bull, knee-deep in snow; and still the remora climbed and climbed.

    Prince Prigio Andrew Lang
  • Then he seized the ivory glass, clapped it to his eye, and looked for the remora.

    Prince Prigio Andrew Lang
  • A species of remora, said to be trained by the Chinese to catch turtle.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • The remora is one of the most interesting fishes known to science.

    Favorite Fish and Fishing James Alexander Henshall
  • With a favourable wind and with bending oarsmen, are you perhaps delayed by the echeneis (remora, or sucking-fish)?

    The Letters of Cassiodorus Cassiodorus (AKA Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator)
  • The bold steersman clung like a remora to the wreck of his boat.

    Christ in Flanders Honore de Balzac
  • The story of halcyon, cramp-fish, and remora are all in Book ii.

  • The mighty prowess ascribed to the remora is imaginary, and the electrical capacity of the torpedo greatly exaggerated.

British Dictionary definitions for remora


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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for remora

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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