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Mole | Multiple meanings

What can be an animal, a person, or food? What can drill rocks, is used in chemistry or sits on your body?
In this post you will find seven meanings of the word mole and learn a related idiom.

A mole (pronounced məʊl) can be several different things, most of which don’t bear any kind of relationship among each other.

1. A mole is a small mammal that lives underground and digs tunnels, forming small hills of soil on the surface. It normally remains hidden and is only rarely seen.

The idiom of this post is related to the small hills moles leave on the ground.

• To make a mountain out of a molehill: to exaggerate or overdramatize a problem.

She sued the train company because of a five minute delay. If you ask me, she made a mountain out of a molehill.
So Dan is upset because he got a B+ instead of an A. I think he’s making a mountain out of a molehill here.

2. In analogy to the fact that moles dig tunnels, the huge drills that dig tunnels through rock are also called moles.

3. A mole can be a spy: someone who operates from within an organization or government, revealing confidential information to a competitor or enemy.
This is owing to the fact that moles – the animals – live hidden away underground, bringing up soil to the surface without being seen.

4. A mole is a small, pigmented mark on the skin, a birthmark. If a mole has an irregular shape, if it grows in size or shows any other alterations, it is best to consult a dermatologist in order to rule out skin cancer.


5. A mole is a large, solid structure usually made of stone on a shore. It serves as a pier or a breakwater. The oldest known mole is on the Red Sea in Egypt.

6. We even find moles in chemistry: A mole (sometimes also: mol) is a conversion number that enables chemists to express atoms, ions and molecules in grams, kilograms and tons. (Explanation taken from
This mole gets its name from the word molecule.

7. Finally, mole (but careful – this one is pronounced ‘məʊleɪ) is the name of a range of spicy Mexican sauces and dishes based on those sauces. They are made from a lot of ingredients, such as chiles, nuts and vegetables, sometimes even chocolate, and are usually served with meat.

An internationally famous variety is the guacamole, which is made with avocado.


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