Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of various stout-bodied, edible fishes of the family Mugilidae, found worldwide in tropical and temperate coastal waters and some freshwater streams, and widely cultivated for food.
  • noun The red mullet; goatfish.
  • noun A hairstyle formed by cutting the hair short on the top and sides of the head and allowing it to grow longer in back.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The rowel of a spur.
  • noun In heraldry, a star-shaped figure having sometimes five, sometimes six points.
  • noun plural Small tongs or pincers, especially those used for curling the hair.
  • noun A fish of the genus Mugil or of the family Mugilidæ.
  • noun A surmullet, or fish of the family Mullidæ.
  • noun The white sucker or red-horse, Moxostoma macrolepidota.
  • noun One of various fishes of the family Catostomidæ and Cyprinidæ in the United States.
  • noun One of various species of the family Scianidæ and genus Mentieirrus along the coast of the United States.
  • noun Apogon imberbis, a Mediterranean fish.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Her.) A star, usually five pointed and pierced; -- when used as a difference it indicates the third son.
  • noun obsolete Small pinchers for curling the hair.
  • noun (Zoöl.) Any one of numerous fishes of the genus Mugil; -- called also gray mullets. They are found on the coasts of both continents, and are highly esteemed as food. Among the most valuable species are Mugil capito of Europe, and Mugil cephalus which occurs both on the European and American coasts.
  • noun (Zoöl.) Any species of the genus Mullus, or family Mullidæ; called also red mullet, and surmullet, esp. the plain surmullet (Mullus barbatus), and the striped surmullet (Mullus surmulletus) of Southern Europe. The former is the mullet of the Romans. It is noted for the brilliancy of its colors. See Surmullet.
  • noun See Ladyfish (a).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A hairstyle where the hair is kept short on the top and sides and long at the back.
  • noun slang A person who mindlessly follows a fad, a trend, or a leader.
  • noun A fish of the genus Mugil.
  • noun A fool
  • noun heraldry A star with straight edges and usually with five or six points.

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

  • noun freshwater or coastal food fishes a spindle-shaped body; found worldwide
  • noun highly valued lean flesh of marine or freshwater mullet
  • noun bottom dwelling marine warm water fishes with two barbels on the chin

Etymologies

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

[Middle English molet, from Medieval Latin mulettus, probably from Old French mulet, from mul, from Latin mullus, from Greek mullos. Sense 2, popularized and perhaps coined in the 1990s by the American hip-hop group the Beastie Boys, possibly as a back-formation from mullet-head, blockhead, idiot.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Apparently coined (and popularized) by hip hop group the Beastie Boys.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Or mullethead, possibly derived from the fish (see Etymology 1) or from mull (meaning to stupefy) though neither is certain.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French molette ("rowel")

Examples

Comments

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  • In heraldry, a figure of a star with five straight points (unless a larger number is specified), as a charge or as a mark of cadency for a third son.

    Originally pierced to represent a spur-rowel. In modern practice, if the mullet is pierced this is specified in the blazon.

    February 5, 2007

  • Also used among my friends to describe computers manufactured in the late 1990s that still "work".

    May 30, 2007

  • ...or a bad hairstyle. ;-)

    May 30, 2007

  • Or a minor promontory (e.g., the lesser known Mullet of Kintyre)

    July 5, 2008

  • WeirdNet omits: that is thrown in competitive sport at the Florida-Alabama line. From this site:

    "WHAT IS A MULLET TOSS?

    A Mullet Toss consists of individuals on the beach throwing a mullet,

    from a 10-foot circle in Alabama across the state line into Florida.

    Not to mention a great excuse to throw a weekend long party,

    with lots of fun activities, great music and food!"

    July 5, 2008

  • The particularly hideous coif of the southern US consisting of quite short top, sides, and back with straggly long strands left to violate the collar and spill down the nape between the shoulders. Very commonly associated with goatees, cheap American beer, shirtlessness, stained teeth, and uselessly loud pickup trucks.

    January 15, 2009

  • You know what they say about the mullet: business in the front, PARTY IN THE REAR!

    Explodes into toothless, thigh-slapping, tobacco-chewing laughter.

    January 15, 2009

  • You mean, like this?

    January 15, 2009

  • The Century has a definition that's close to the one chained_bear posted, but it has this, too: "The mullet is one of the common marks of cadency, and is taken to indicate the third son. Also astroid and molette."

    November 27, 2012

  • to mull about!? (a fish wish lish?) ** fishing a-bout** *raison-for-being??**

    November 28, 2012