A person of mixed ancestry. Most commonly used to refer to people of both African and European ancestry. It has been used in early American history to refer to the children of Native Americans and Europeans as well. This later usage has fallen into disuse.
In Latin America and especially Brazil, the female version, mulata has come to be used also to refer to a beautiful woman of afrodescent, irrespective of level European admixture.
The Etymology of the word comes from old Spanish for little mule. Mulato or muleto means little mule, just like jabato means little jabali (Boar).
Some people have erroneously claimed that Mulatto comes from from Muwalladin in Arab.
The Muwallad theory encounters certain problems when compared to a timeline of usage and definition. The term mulato is documented in the data bank of the Real Academia Española (Spanish Royal Academy) for the first time in 1472. It states "The term mulata is documented in our diachronic data bank in 1472 and is used in reference to livestock mules in "Documentacion medieval de la Corte del Justicia de Ganaderos de Zaragoza", whereas muladí (from mullawadí) does not appear until the XVIII century, according to Corominas". Another problem with the Muwallad theory of origin is that Muwallad is not phonetically similar to Mulato. Mu LAH toh vs Mu wah LAD. The theory of Muladí a later derivative of Muwallad (Plural Muwalladin, shortened to Muladí) was based on some similarity with Mulato in writing. But even there, Muladí has a stress on the last vocal, while Mulato doesn't. Mu lah DI vs Mu LAH to. Neither by timeline comparison or phonetic comparison can we see any valid evidence for this claim.
Esa mulata se mueve como que esta candela.
That mulatto woman moves like she is on fire.