from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of several mustelid mammals of the genus Martes, mainly inhabiting northern forests and having a slender body, bushy tail, and soft fur.
  • noun The fur of one of these mammals.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An obsolete spelling of martin.
  • noun A digitigrade carnivorous quadruped of the family Mustelidœ, subfamily Mustelinœ, and genus Mustela or Martes, of which there are several species, all inhabiting the northern hemisphere.
  • noun A carnivorous marsupial of the genus Phascogale, as the spotted marten of Australia.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) A bird. See martin.
  • noun (Zoöl.) Any one of several fur-bearing carnivores of the genus Martes (formerly Mustela), closely allied to the sable. Among the more important species are the European beech marten or stone marten (Martes foina); the pine marten (Martes martes); and the American marten, or sable (Martes Americana), which some zoölogists consider only a variety of the Russian sable.
  • noun The fur of the marten, used for hats, muffs, etc.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Any carnivorous mammal of the genus Martes in the family Mustelidae.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun agile slender-bodied arboreal mustelids somewhat larger than weasels


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English martrin, marten, from Old French martrine (from feminine of martrin, pertaining to the marten, from martre, marten) and from Medieval Latin martrīna, both of Germanic origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English martren, martryn, from Anglo-Norman martrine 'marten fur', from Old Low Franconian *marþrin 'of marten fur' (cf. Middle Dutch martren), from *marþra 'marten' (compare Dutch marter), from Proto-Germanic *marþuz (compare Low German Mort, West Frisian murd 'polecat', Old English mearþ 'shrew'), originally 'wedding' (cf. Crimean Gothic marzus 'wedding'), from Proto-Indo-European *martus 'bride'. More at marry. For sense development, compare Italian donnola 'weasel', from donna 'lady', Greek nyfítsa 'weasel', from nymfē 'bride'.


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