remora

noun rem·o·ra \ ri-ˈmȯr-ə also ˈre-mə-rə \

Definition of remora

1 : any of a family (Echeneidae) of marine bony fishes that have the anterior dorsal fin modified into a suctorial disk on the head by means of which they adhere especially to other fishes

remora was our Word of the Day on 12/16/2008. Hear the podcast!

Recent Examples of remora from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'remora.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Also known as shark suckers or suckerfish, remoras are long, thin, dark fishes that are distributed throughout the world in warm seas. Ancient sailors believed remoras had the power to slow or even stop a ship by attaching themselves to it; the name remora, which means "delay" in Latin, arose from this ancient superstition. The poor remora’s reputation isn’t much better today. Even though remoras don’t harm their hosts, they are popularly thought of as unwanted guests who get a free ride and a free meal by way of the efforts of others. It is therefore common to see remora used metaphorically in such contexts as "hungry paparazzi who attach themselves like remoras to celebrities."

Illustration of remora

Origin and Etymology of remora

Late Latin, from Latin, delay, from remorari to delay, from re- + morari to delay — more at moratorium


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