Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of several marine fishes of the family Echeneidae, having on the head a sucking disk with which they attach themselves to sharks, whales, sea turtles, or the hulls of ships. Also called shark sucker, suckerfish, suckfish.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of various elongate brown fish from the family Echeneidae whose dorsal fin is in the form of a suction disc that can take a firm hold against the skin of larger marine animals.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Delay; obstacle; hindrance.
  • n. Any one of several species of fishes belonging to Echeneis, Remora, and allied genera. Called also sucking fish.
  • n. An instrument formerly in use, intended to retain parts in their places.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Delay; obstacle; hindrance.
  • n. The sucking-fish, Echeneis remora, or any fish of the family Echeneididæ, having on the top of the head a flattened oval adhesive surface by means of which it can attach itself firmly to various objects, as another fish, a ship's bottom, etc., but whether for protection or conveyance, or both, has not been satisfactorily ascertained. It was formerly believed to have the power of delaying or stopping ships. See cuts under Echeneis and Rhombochirus.
  • n. A genus of such fishes, based on the species above-named.
  • n. In medicine, a stoppage or stagnation, as of the blood.
  • n. In surgery, an instrument to retain parts in place: not now in use.
  • n. In heraldry, a serpent: rare, confined to certain modern blazons.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. marine fishes with a flattened elongated body and a sucking disk on the head for attaching to large fish or moving objects

Etymologies

Latin, delay (from the belief that they could slow ships down), from remorārī, to delay : re-, re- + morārī, to delay (from mora, delay).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Some were truly incredible — from the impossibly tiny-mouthed filefish (No. 32), to the blue parrotfish (No. 35) that looked like wet sapphire, to the 2-foot-long remora (No. 34) that Adler insisted could adhere to my belly and hang there (it did, and the sensation was like having a vacuum-cleaner hose with a thousand tiny needles at its end stuck to your skin).

    The Mid-Life Slam

  • Alas, as the 1970s turned to the 1980s, the two major corporate publishers, Marvel and DC, turned their backs on the general audience -- especially children -- to saturate the emerging (adult) fan market flocking to comics specialty stores, and since the fan market wanted superheroes and more superheroes, that's what the Big Two, and a remora-school of wannabes, gave them.

    The Myth of the Fall of the American Comic Book

  • I get caught, not only do I give away that I'm a spy and I'm here - I'll also likely as not lose the part of myself that's latched onto the servant like a remora to a shark.

    The Peacock King: Book 1, Chapter 1

  • Bowman had a perfect view of a beautifully streamlined, torpedo-shaped body, very much like one of the remora or suckerfish that attach themselves to sharks.

    Tin

  • Its really hard to know whether Lanny Davis is totally lacking in even the slightest trace of a sense of irony, or whether he's just another Clinton remora who takes cynicism to the level of pathology.

    Watch Hillary Meet With Editorial Board -- Live!

  • But, alas, I imagine that Ickes and Carville will still be stuck, remora like, to the Party's underbelly for years to come.

    Harold Ickes Confirms That Wright Is Key Topic In Discussions With Super-Delegates

  • Needless to say, neither Andrew Wilkow nor his remora, Nick Rizzuto, is a punk.

    Chez Pazienza: With Friends Like These...

  • When I took a human-animal interaction class in college, we were taught that cats are not properly considered domesticated but commensal, like a remora or a cowbird but with much more sophisticated social engineering!

    Hard wired to the past | The Blog of Michael R. Eades, M.D.

  • As Chris and Allie maintained their remora dance on Jules, Ginny walked to the other end of the gallery where the owner was motioning to her.

    MORE FROM GINNY BATES: PAINTERLAND

  • Thus armed, he boldly confronted the virago, and interposing a remora, which was able to check poor

    Saint Ronan's Well

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Comments

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  • also called "sharksucker" and "suckerfish".

    November 21, 2008

  • "sucking fish," 1567, from L. remora, lit. "delay, hindrance," from re- "back" + mora "delay;" so called because the fish were believed by the ancients to retard a vessel to which they attached themselves. Pliny writes that Antony's galley was delayed by one at the Battle of Actium. Sometimes called in Eng. stayship or stopship.

    July 13, 2007