One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A southern European plant related to the onions, with small yellow flowers.
Allium moly, family Liliaceae (or Alliaceae)
- ‘Allium moly is an ornamental allium, or flowering onion.’
- ‘A. moly is commonly regarded as ‘the golden garlic,’ with dense umbels of bright golden yellow flowers on 12-inch stems.’
- ‘Allium moly is a yellow-flowered species which is native to south-western Europe and the Pyrenees.’
- ‘Also good at handling the warmer weather are lilies and the ornamental onions such as Allium alflatunense, A. sphaerocephalum and A. moly.’
- ‘Allium moly, otherwise known as Golden Garlic, is so easy to grow and its bright yellow star-shaped flowers are irresistibly cheerful.’
2A mythical herb with white flowers and black roots, endowed with magic properties.
- ‘‘Eat this sprig of the moly plant,’ the boy said, ‘and be protected from enchantment.’’
- ‘I don't really care whether it's the moly, the bullet, or some secret ingredient.’
Mid 16th century (in moly (sense 2)): via Latin from Greek mōlu.
- ‘Both will do a great job, but moly is much lighter; a cage built from chromoly will be approximately half the weight of a mild-steel cage.’
- ‘Not only is it fast, the bore paste removes all types of fouling - powder, copper, moly, even surface rust.’
- ‘Lead and moly occur together in polymetallic ores.’
- ‘For a hunting rifle, however, the advantages of moly simply don't come into play.’
- ‘This is a prototype Barnes X-Bullet, featuring a proprietary coating with properties similar to moly - less fouling, greater accuracy, longer barrel life.’
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