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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Mola \Mo"la\, n. (Zo["o]l.) See Sunfish, 1.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

type of fish, 1670s, from Latin mola, literally "millstone" (see molar). So called because of the fish's shape and rough skin.


"false conception," c.1600, from Latin mola "false conception," from earlier sense "salt cake;" literally "millstone" (see molar).


n. 1 A traditional textile art form of the Kuna people of Panama and Colombia. A mola consists of cloth panels, made to wear on clothing, which feature complex designs made with multiple layers of cloth in a reverse appliqué technique. 2 a sunfish, ''Mola mola''


n. among the largest bony fish; pelagic fish having an oval compressed body with high dorsal and anal fins and caudal fin reduced to a rudder-like lobe; worldwide in warm waters [syn: ocean sunfish, sunfish, headfish]


Mola can refer to:

Mola (art form)

The mola or molas, forms part of the traditional outfit of a Kuna woman, two mola panels being incorporated as front and back panels in a blouse. The full costume traditionally includes a patterned wrapped skirt (saburet), a red and yellow headscarf (musue), arm and leg beads (wini), a gold nose ring (olasu) and earrings in addition to the mola blouse (dulemor).

In Dulegaya, the Kuna's native language, "mola" means "shirt" or "clothing". The mola originated with the tradition of Kuna women painting their bodies with geometrical designs, using available natural colors; in later years these same designs were woven in cotton, and later still, sewn using cloth bought from the European settlers of Panamá.

Mola (fish)

A sunfish (or mola) is any fish in the Mola genus ( family Molidae). The fishes develop their truncated, bullet-like shape because the back fin, with which they are born, never grows. Instead, it folds into itself as the creature matures, creating a rounded rudder called a clavus. Mola in Latin means "millstone" and describes the ocean sunfish’s somewhat circular shape. They are a silvery color and have a rough skin texture.

The mola is the heaviest of all the bony fish, with large specimens reaching vertically and horizontally and weighing nearly . Sharks and rays can be heavier, but they are cartilaginous fish.

Mola are found in temperate and tropical oceans around the world. They are frequently seen basking in the sun near the surface and are often mistaken for sharks when their huge dorsal fins emerge above the water. Their teeth are fused into a beak-like structure, and they are unable to fully close their relatively small mouths.

Ocean sunfish can become so infested with skin parasites, they will often invite small fish or even birds to feast on them. Sunfish will even breach the surface up to in the air, in an attempt to shake the parasites.

They are clumsy swimmers, waggling their large dorsal and anal fins to move, and steering with their clavus. Their food of choice is jellyfish, though they will eat small fish and huge amounts of zooplankton and algae, as well. They are harmless to people, but can be very curious and will often approach divers.

Their population is considered stable, though they frequently are snagged in drift gill nets and can suffocate on sea trash, like plastic bags (which resemble jellyfish).

Usage examples of "mola".

An old woman, Molas Ferd, was down by the riverbank collecting geese scumble when she sighted the swell.

But old Molas Ferd stood where she was, shovel in hand, staring openmouthed at the waters.

He studied the angle of the dog-vane, called for an azimuth-compass to take the bearings of the wake and of Cape Mola, gazed long at the sky, the familiar clear tramontane sky with high white clouds moving in a steady procession toward Africa, and methodically began to pack on sail, causing the log to be heaved every five minutes.

It consisted of a pot of scalding tea, three kas crackers, and six mola berries.

MOLA has been able to provide detailed topographic information about individual features such as impact craters, volcanoes, fractures, channels, and polar deposits.

The passengers on the port side of the boat were treated to the sight of a huge sunfish, often called a Mola Mola.

But old Molas Ferd stood where she was, shovel in hand, staring openmouthed at the waters.

Like old Molas Ferd before the flood, he stood paralysed before the sight of humanity’s ancient enemy.

Nor could Stephen, for that matter: still, Jack looked forward extremely to their meeting, and in something less than two days' time, when the Worcester rounded to under Cape Mola, unable to enter Mahon harbour because of the north-wester, he took his barge, pulling through the narrow mouth and then beating right up the whole length, board upon board, although an exchange of signals with the officer in charge of Royal Naval stores had told him that nothing but a little Stockholm tar had yet arrived for the squadron.