mare (n.2) Look up mare at
"broad, dark areas of the moon," 1765, from Latin mare "sea" (see marine), applied to lunar features by Galileo and used thus in 17c. Latin works. They originally were thought to be actual seas.
mare (n.3) Look up mare at
"night-goblin, incubus," Old English mare "incubus, nightmare, monster," from mera, mære, from Proto-Germanic *maron "goblin" (source also of Middle Low German mar, Middle Dutch mare, Old High German mara, German Mahr "incubus," Old Norse mara "nightmare, incubus"), from PIE *mora- "incubus" (source also of first element in Old Irish Morrigain "demoness of the corpses," literally "queen of the nightmare," also Bulgarian, Serbian mora, Czech mura, Polish zmora "incubus;" French cauchemar, with first element from Old French caucher "to trample"), from root *mer- "to rub away, harm" (see morbid).
Margaret Look up Margaret at
fem. proper name (c. 1300), from Old French Margaret (French Marguerite), from Late Latin Margarita, female name, literally "pearl," from Greek margarites (lithos) "pearl," of unknown origin, "probably adopted from some Oriental language" [OED]; compare Sanskrit manjari "cluster of flowers," also said by Indian linguists to mean "pearl," cognate with manju "beautiful." Arabic marjan probably is from Greek, via Syraic marganitha. The word was widely perverted in Germanic languages by folk-etymology, for example Old English meregrot, which has been altered to mean literally "sea-pebble."
margaric (adj.) Look up margaric at
1819, from French margarique (Chevreul), from Greek margaron "pearl" + -ic. Obsolete in science.
margarin (n.) Look up margarin at
1836, from French margarine, a chemical term given to a fatty substance obtained from animal and vegetable oil, coined by French chemist Michel Eugène Chevreul (1786-1889) in 1813 from (acide) margarique "margaric (acid);" literally "pearly," from Greek margarites "pearl" (see Margaret). So called for the luster of the crystals. Now discarded in this sense as a chemical term, but preserved in margarine.
margarine (n.) Look up margarine at
butter substitute, 1873, from French margarine (see margarin). Invented 1869 by French scientist Hippolyte Mège-Mouries and made in part from edible fats and oils.
The "enterprising merchant" of Paris, who sells Margarine as a substitute for Butter, and does not sell his customers by selling it as Butter, and at Butter's value, has very likely found honesty to be the best policy. That policy might perhaps be adopted with advantage by an enterprising British Cheesemonger. ["Punch," Feb. 21, 1874]
Margarita (n.) Look up Margarita at
cocktail made with tequila, 1963, from the fem. proper name, the Spanish form of Margaret. Earlier "a Spanish wine" (1920).
margarite (n.) Look up margarite at
"a pearl," late Old English, from Late Latin margarita (see Margaret). Figuratively, "that which is precious or excellent, a priceless quality or attribute;" also used as an epithet for Christ, Mary, etc., late 13c. Also margerie (mid-14c.).
marge (n.) Look up marge at
"edge, border," 1560s, now chiefly poetic, shortening of margin (n.).
Margery Look up Margery at
fem. proper name, from Old French Margerie, related to Late Latin margarita "pearl" (see Margaret).
margin (n.) Look up margin at
mid-14c., "edge of a sea or lake;" late 14c., "space between a block of text and the edge of a page," from Latin marginem (nominative margo) "edge, brink, border, margin," from PIE *merg- "edge, border, boundary" (see mark (n.1)). General sense of "boundary space; rim or edge of anything" is from late 14c. Meaning "comfort allowance, cushion" is from 1851; margin of safety first recorded 1888. Stock market sense of "sum deposited with a broker to cover risk of loss" is from 1848. Related: Margins.
margin (v.) Look up margin at
c. 1600, "to furnish with marginal notes," from margin (n.). From 1715 as "to furnish with a margin."
marginal (adj.) Look up marginal at
1570s, "written on the margin," from Medieval Latin marginalis, from Latin margo "edge, brink, border, margin" (see margin (n.)). Sense of "of little effect or importance" first recorded 1887. Related: Marginally.
marginalia (n.) Look up marginalia at
1832, from Latin marginalia, neuter plural of adjective marginalis "marginal," from marginis (see margin).
marginalise (v.) Look up marginalise at
chiefly British English spelling of marginalize (q.v.); for suffix, see -ize. Related: marginalisation; marginalised; marginalising.
marginality (n.) Look up marginality at
1849, from marginal + -ity.
marginalization (n.) Look up marginalization at
1974, from marginalize + noun ending -ation.
marginalize (v.) Look up marginalize at
1832, "to make marginal notes," from marginal + -ize. The meaning "force into a position of powerlessness" attested by 1929. Related: Marginalized; marginalizing.
margrave (n.) Look up margrave at
military governor of a German border province, 1550s, from Middle Dutch markgrave (Dutch markgraaf), literally "count of the border," from Old High German marcgravo; second element from graf "count, earl" (Old High German gravo, gravjo), from West Germanic *grafa "a designation of rank, possibly borrowed from Greek grapheus "scribe." For first element see mark (n.1). Later a hereditary title under the Holy Roman Empire. His wife was a margravine.
marguerite (n.) Look up marguerite at
"oxeye daisy," 1866, from French marguerite (see Margaret). "According to French etymologists, this use of F. marguerite is not from the personal name, but comes directly from the sense 'pearl.' " [OED] In Middle English, margaret "a daisy" is attested from early 15c.
Maria Look up Maria at
fem. proper name, from Late Latin; see Mary.
mariachi (n.) Look up mariachi at
"Mexican strolling musical band," 1941, from Mexican Spanish, from French mariage "marriage" (see marriage), so called because such bands performed at wedding celebrations. As an adjective by 1967.
Marian (adj.) Look up Marian at
"of Mary," 1701, referring to the Virgin; also (c. 1600) in reference to the reign of Mary Queen of England (1553-58); and (1902) to Mary Queen of Scots (1542-1587).
Marian Look up Marian at
fem. proper name, collateral form of Marion, a diminutive of French Marie (see Mary), but often taken for a compound of Mary and Anne.
Marianne Look up Marianne at
fem. proper name, from French, a variant of Marian; sometimes Englished as Mary Anne. Name of a republican secret society formed in France in 1851, hence "personification of the French Republic."
Marie Antoinette Look up Marie Antoinette at
queen consort of Louis XVI (1755-1793); as a decorative style, from 1925.
marigold (n.) Look up marigold at
late 14c., marygolde, from Mary (probably a reference to the Virgin) + gold, for color. The Old English name for the flower was simply golde.
marijuana (n.) Look up marijuana at
1918, altered by influence of Spanish proper name Maria Juana "Mary Jane" from mariguan (1894), from Mexican Spanish marihuana, of uncertain origin.
Marijuana ... makes you sensitive. Courtesy has a great deal to do with being sensitive. Unfortunately marijuana makes you the kind of sensitive where you insist on everyone listening to the drum solo in Iron Butterfly's 'In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida' fifty or sixty times. [P.J. O'Rourke, "Modern Manners," 1983]
Marilyn Look up Marilyn at
fem. proper name, a diminutive of Mary.
marimba (n.) Look up marimba at
1704, from an African language, probably Bantu (compare Kimbundu and Swahili marimba, malimba, name of a xylophone-like instrument).
marina (n.) Look up marina at
1805, "a promenade by the sea," from Spanish or Italian marina "shore, coast," from Latin marinus (see marine (adj.)). Meaning "dock or basin with moorings for yachts and small craft" is 1935, American English.
marinade (n.) Look up marinade at
1704, from French marinade "spiced vinegar or brine for pickling," from mariner "to pickle" (see marinate). As a verb from 1680s. Related: Marinaded; marinading.
marinate (v.) Look up marinate at
1640s, from French mariner "to pickle in (sea) brine," from Old French marin (adj.) "of the sea," from Latin marinus (see marine (adj.)). Related: Marinated; marinating.
marine (adj.) Look up marine at
early 15c., "pertaining to the sea," from Middle French marin, from Old French marin "of the sea, maritime," from Latin marinus "of the sea," from mare "sea, the sea, seawater," from PIE *mori- "body of water, lake" (see mere (n.)). The Old English word was sælic.
marine (n.) Look up marine at
14c., "seacoast;" see marine (adj.). Meaning "collective shipping of a country" is from 1660s. Meaning "soldier who serves on a ship" is from 1670s, a separate borrowing from French marine, from the French adjective. Phrase tell that to the marines (1806) originally was the first half of a retort expressing skepticism:
"Upon my soul, sir," answered the lieutenant, "when I thought she scorned my passion, I wept like a child."

"Belay there!" cried the captain; "you may tell that to the marines, but I'll be d----d if the sailors will believe it." ["John Moore," "The Post-Captain; or, the Wooden Walls Well Manned," 1805]
The book, a rollicking sea romance/adventure novel, was popular in its day and the remark is a recurring punch line in it (repeated at least four times). It was written by naval veteran John Davis (1774-1854) but published under the name John Moore. Walsh records that, "The marines are among the 'jolly' jack-tars a proverbially gullible lot, capable of swallowing any yarn, in size varying from a yawl-boat to a full-rigged frigate."
mariner (n.) Look up mariner at
mid-13c., from Anglo-French mariner, Old French marinier "seaman, sailor" (12c.), from Medieval Latin marinarius "sailor," from Latin marinus "of the sea" (see marine). Earlier and long more common than sailor. A sailor also could be a brimgeist in Old English.
Mariolatry (n.) Look up Mariolatry at
"worship of the Virgin Mary," 1610s, from Mary + -latry, with connective element -o-.
Marion Look up Marion at
fem. proper name, French, a diminutive of Marie (see Mary).
marionette (n.) Look up marionette at
puppet worked by strings, c. 1620, literally "little little Mary," from French marionette (16c.), diminutive of Old French mariole "figurine, idol, picture of the Virgin Mary," diminutive of Marie (see Mary). For ending, see -ette.
marish (n.) Look up marish at
"a marsh," early 14c., mares, from Old French marois "marshland, bog" (12c., Modern French marais), from Frankish *marisk or some other Germanic source akin to marsh.
marital (adj.) Look up marital at
c. 1600, from French maritale and directly from Latin maritalis "of or belonging to married people," from maritus "married man, husband" (see marry).
maritime (adj.) Look up maritime at
1540s, "of or pertaining to the sea," from Middle French maritime (16c.) or directly from Latin maritimus "of the sea, near the sea," from mare (genitive maris) "sea" (see mere (n.)) + Latin ending -timus, originally a superlative suffix (compare intimus "inmost," ultimus "last"), here denoting "close association with." Maritimes "seacoast regions of a country" is from 1590s; specifically of the southeasternmost provinces of Canada by 1926.
Marius Look up Marius at
masc. proper name, from Latin Marius, name of a Roman gens.
marjoram (n.) Look up marjoram at
late 14c., from Old French majorane (13c., Modern French marjolaine), from Medieval Latin maiorana, of uncertain origin, probably ultimately from India (compare Sanskrit maruva- "marjoram"), with form influenced by Latin major "greater."
mark (n.1) Look up mark at
"trace, impression," Old English mearc (West Saxon), merc (Mercian) "boundary, sign, limit, mark," from Proto-Germanic *marko (source also of Old Norse merki "boundary, sign," mörk "forest," which often marked a frontier; Old Frisian merke, Gothic marka "boundary, frontier," Dutch merk "mark, brand," German Mark "boundary, boundary land"), from PIE *merg- "edge, boundary, border" (source also of Latin margo "margin;" Avestan mareza- "border," Old Irish mruig, Irish bruig "borderland," Welsh bro "district").

The primary sense is probably "boundary," which had evolved by Old English through "sign of a boundary," through "sign in general," then to "impression or trace forming a sign." Meaning "any visible trace or impression" first recorded c. 1200. Sense of "line drawn to indicate starting point of a race" (as in on your marks ...) first attested 1887. The Middle English sense of "target" (c. 1200) is the notion in marksman and slang sense "victim of a swindle" (1883). The notion of "sign, token" is behind the meaning "numerical award given by a teacher" (1829). Influenced by Scandinavian cognates.
mark (n.2) Look up mark at
"unit of money or weight," late Old English marc, a unit of weight (chiefly for gold or silver) equal to about eight ounces, probably from Old Norse mörk "unit of weight," cognate with German Mark, probably ultimately a derivative of mark (n.1), perhaps in sense of "imprinted weight or coin." Used from 18c. in reference to various continental coinages, especially. the silver coin of Germany first issued 1875.
Mark Look up Mark at
masc. proper name, variant of Marcus (q.v.). Among the top 10 names given to boy babies born in the U.S. between 1955 and 1970.
mark (v.) Look up mark at
"to put a mark on," Old English mearcian (West Saxon), merciga (Anglian) "to trace out boundaries," from Proto-Germanic *markojan (source also of Old Norse merkja, Old Saxon markon, Old Frisian merkia, Old High German marchon, German merken "to mark, note," Middle Dutch and Dutch merken), from the root of mark (n.1).

Influenced by Scandinavian cognates. Meaning "to have a mark" is from c. 1400; that of "to notice, observe" is late 14c. Meaning "to put a numerical price on an object for sale" led to verbal phrase mark down (1859). Mark time (1833) is from military drill. Related: Marked; marking. Old French merchier "to mark, note, stamp, brand" is a Germanic loan-word.
mark-down (n.) Look up mark-down at
1880, from expression mark down "reduce in price" (see mark (v.)).
marked (adj.) Look up marked at
"having a mark," Old English gemearcodan (see mark (v.)). Meaning "clearly defined" (pronounced as two syllables) is from 1795. Related: Markedly. Marked man "one who is watched with hostile intent" is from 1769.