Middle English merren "to deface, disfigure; impair in form or substance" (early 13c.), from Old English merran (Anglian), mierran (West Saxon) "to waste, spoil," from Proto-Germanic *marzjan (source also of Old Frisian meria, Old High German marren "to hinder, obstruct," Gothic marzjan "to hinder, offend"), from PIE root *mers- "to trouble, confuse" (source also of Sanskrit mrsyate "forgets, neglects," Lithuanian miršti "to forget"). For vowel change, see marsh. Related: Marred; marring.
updated on November 21, 2018