There are 6 main definitions of mole in English:

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mole1

Line breaks: mole
Pronunciation: /məʊl
 
/

noun

1A small burrowing mammal with dark velvety fur, a long muzzle, and very small eyes, feeding mainly on worms, grubs, and other invertebrates.
  • Family Talpidae: several genera and species, including the European mole (Talpa europaea)
Example sentences
  • The fur of moles is velvety and can lie equally well in any direction, which allows easy movement in the burrows backward as well as forwards.
  • Although moles feed on beneficial invertebrates as well as lawn pests, they rarely affect the populations of either.
  • While bats are highly specialized for flight, they share anatomical characters with the Insectivora, the mammalian taxon that includes shrews and moles.
Synonyms
2A spy who gradually achieves an important position within the security defences of a country: a well-placed mole was feeding them the names of operatives
More example sentences
  • There may have been a mole planted by the security services inside the terror cells in the country.
  • What about a mole being a double agent who establishes a cover long before beginning espionage?
  • That search for the supposed mole within CIA severely damaged the careers of some CIA officers.
Synonyms
North American informal spook
archaic intelligencer
2.1Someone within an organization who anonymously betrays confidential information: the company is hunting for the mole who revealed details of planned job cuts
More example sentences
  • For £50,000 we will finger moles within your organisation.
  • One of Asymmetrical Information's moles forwards this item from Businessweek.
  • I've good reason to believe there's a mole in our organization.

Origin

late Middle English: from the Germanic base of Middle Dutch and Middle Low German mol.

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mole2

Line breaks: mole
Pronunciation: /məʊl
 
/

noun

A small, often slightly raised blemish on the skin made dark by a high concentration of melanin: a mole on her arm had not been there at the beginning of the summer
More example sentences
  • It's essential that people monitor their moles and skin blemishes and report any changes in them.
  • Melanoma first appears as a mole or skin discoloration.
  • Although moles do often change slightly over a lifetime, that change should not occur over months or years.
Synonyms

Origin

Old English māl 'discoloured spot', of Germanic origin.

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mole3

Line breaks: mole
Pronunciation: /məʊl
 
/

noun

1A large solid structure on a shore serving as a pier, breakwater, or causeway.
Example sentences
  • The north and south moles connect to the shore and the seabed ascends from 30m to nothing along the length of them.
  • To this end, Alexander ordered his engineers to build a mole - a land bridge from the mainland to the island.
  • The moles were built to protect Lagos' valuable harbor from the fierce action of the waves and to prevent sand from entering the deeply dredged harbor on the ocean surge.
Synonyms
1.1A harbour formed or protected by a mole.

Origin

mid 16th century: from French môle, from Latin moles 'mass'.

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mole4

Line breaks: mole
Pronunciation: /məʊl
 
/
(abbreviation mol)

noun

Chemistry
The SI unit of amount of substance, equal to the quantity containing as many elementary units as there are atoms in 0.012 kg of carbon-12.
Example sentences
  • One chaotic chemical system that has been well studied is a mixture of equal numbers of moles of carbon monoxide and oxygen with a small amount of molecular hydrogen.
  • In the decomposition, four moles of nitroglycerin decompose into approximately 30 moles of carbon dioxide, water, nitrogen, and oxygen.
  • The number of moles present in any amount of the solution can be calculated by multiplying the molarity by the volume.

Origin

early 20th century: from German Mol, from Molekul, from Latin (see molecule).

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mole5

Line breaks: mole
Pronunciation: /məʊl
 
/

noun

Medicine
An abnormal mass of tissue in the uterus. See also hydatidiform mole.
Example sentences
  • After the uterus is emptied, about 20 percent of complete moles and 2 percent of partial moles persist and the remaining abnormal tissue may continue to grow.
  • No fetal tissue was identified in association with the partial mole.
  • Molar pregnancy poses a threat to the pregnant woman when the mole penetrates deep into the uterine wall, which can result in heavy bleeding.

Origin

late Middle English: from French môle, from Latin mola in the sense 'false conception'.

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mole6

Line breaks: mole
Pronunciation: /ˈməʊleɪ
 
/

noun

[mass noun]
A highly spiced Mexican sauce made chiefly from chilli peppers and chocolate, served with meat.
Example sentences
  • Oaxaca's traditional food is widely seen as the best in Mexico and local specialties include tamales, fried grasshoppers and a spicy chilli and chocolate sauce known as mole.
  • This would be a wonderful side dish to some chicken mole, or even an enchilada.
  • Smear chicken pieces generously with mole and bake in a moderate oven, turning once or twice during baking, for about 30 minutes.

Origin

Mexican Spanish, from Nahuatl molli 'sauce, stew'.

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