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mole


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In proverbial use often referred to as the type of a blind creature. The mole was also toasted by Jacobites as the little gentleman in black velvet, in reference to the death of William III, said to have been caused by a fall from his horse which had stumbled on a molehill (the small mound of earth thrown up by a mole burrowing near the surface).

From the early 1920s, mole has been used allusively to designate a spy who achieves over a long period an important position within the security defences of a country, or someone within an organization who anonymously betrays confidential information.

See also make a mountain out of a molehill.


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