noun, plural martens (especially collectively) marten.
any of several slender, chiefly arboreal carnivores of the genus Martes, of northern forests, having a long, glossy coat and bushy tail.
the fur of such an animal, generally a dark brown.

1375–1425; < Middle Low German, equivalent to mart marten (cognate with Old English mearth) + -en -en5; replacing late Middle English martren < Middle French martrine marten fur, noun use of feminine of martrin pertaining to a marten, equivalent to martre marten (< Germanic; compare German Marder) + -in -in1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
marten (ˈmɑːtɪn)
n , pl -tens, -ten
1.  See also pine marten any of several agile arboreal musteline mammals of the genus Martes, of Europe, Asia, and North America, having bushy tails and golden brown to blackish fur
2.  the highly valued fur of these animals, esp that of M. americana
[C15: from Middle Dutch martren, from Old French (peau) martrine skin of a marten, from martre, probably of Germanic origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

mid-13c., "skin or fur of the marten," from O.Fr. martrine, noun use of fem. adj. martrin "of or pertaining to the marten," from martre "marten," from Frank. *martar, from P.Gmc. *marthuz (cf. O.S. marthrin "of or pertaining to the marten," O.Fris. merth, O.E. mearþ, O.N. mörðr "marten"),
probably from PIE *martu- "bride," perhaps on some fancied resemblance, or else a Gmc. euphemism for the real name of the animal, which may have been taboo. In M.E. the animal itself was called marter, directly from O.Fr. martre, but marten took over this sense in English c.1400.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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