molly

1 of 2

noun (1)

mol·​ly ˈmä-lē How to pronounce molly (audio)
variants or less commonly mollie
plural mollies
: any of various small, often brightly colored tropical fish (genus Poecilia) that are live-bearers found in fresh, brackish, or salt water and include several that are highly valued as aquarium fishes

Molly

2 of 2

noun (2)

Mol·​ly ˈmä-lē How to pronounce Molly (audio)
informal
: the illicit drug ecstasy (see ecstasy sense 2) especially when in a powdered or crystalline form contained in a capsule
Boston Police said Thursday that a dangerously pure form of the drug ecstasy, known as Molly, appeared to be a factor in the mass illnesses the night before at TD Garden, where more than 80 young people attending an electronic dance music concert became sick …Evan Allen
Experts say Molly, though often touted as pure, is often mixed with other drugs and ingredients, perhaps even more than the Ecstasy of yesteryear.Helena Oliveiro

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

by shortening from New Latin Mollienisia, former genus name, from Comte François N. Mollien †1850 French statesman

Noun (2)

of obscure origin

Note: Perhaps from the given name Molly, but if so the motivation is unclear. In the United Kingdom a parallel name for a powder or capsule form of the drug is mandy, which bears somewhat greater resemblance to the initialism MDMA. There appears to be no compelling reason to take molly as a clipping of molecular. Note that black molly was a jargon term for amphetamine capsules in the 1970's (see entry in The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English [Routledge, 2005]).

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1933, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

2000, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of molly was in 1933

Dictionary Entries Near molly

Cite this Entry

“Molly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/molly. Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

molly

noun
mol·​ly
variants also mollie
plural mollies
: any of several often colorful small fishes that are often kept in tropical aquariums

Medical Definition

Molly

noun
Mol·​ly ˈmä-lē How to pronounce Molly (audio)
: the illicit drug ecstasy especially when in a powdered or crystalline form contained in a capsule
Experts say Molly, though often touted as pure, is often mixed with other drugs and ingredients, perhaps even more than the Ecstasy of yesteryear.Helena Oliveiro, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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