When a donkey and a horse have a baby, it's a mule. A mule, however, can not make babies — since it has an odd number of chromosomes (63, to be exact).

While donkeys can be notoriously stubborn and horses can be fragile, mules are sturdy, patient, and live long lives. Mules always have a donkey father and a horse mother, while the opposite combination (a female mule and male horse) is called a hinny, and it's less common. A completely unrelated definition of mule is a slip-on shoe or slipper. This second meaning is from the Latin mulleus calceus, the footwear of Roman patricians, "red high-soled shoe."

Definitions of mule
  1. noun
    hybrid offspring of a male donkey and a female horse; usually sterile
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    type of:
    equid, equine
    hoofed mammals having slender legs and a flat coat with a narrow mane along the back of the neck
  2. noun
    a slipper that has no fitting around the heel
    synonyms: scuff
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    type of:
    carpet slipper, slipper
    low footwear that can be slipped on and off easily; usually worn indoors
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