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[mar-uh-ner] /ˈmær ə nər/
a person who directs or assists in the navigation of a ship; sailor.
(initial capital letter) Aerospace. one of a series of U.S. space probes that obtained scientific information while flying by or orbiting around the planets Mars, Mercury, and Venus.
Origin of mariner
1250-1300; Middle English < Anglo-French; Old French marinier. See marine, -er2
1. seafarer. See sailor. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for mariners
  • mariners have traditionally interpreted it as a good omen.
  • Horseshoe crabs were misnamed centuries ago, when mariners thought the odd creatures' sloped shells resembled horse's feet.
  • Ancient mariners used sails to capture the wind and explore the world.
  • Possibly the inspiration for mariners' tales of mermaids, dugongs are closely related to elephants.
  • Radio communication at sea quickly evolved into an indispensable safety aid for mariners.
  • And, of course, for mariners the stars provided some means of navigating at night.
  • Since such voyages were often prohibited by the emperor, the region's mariners became skilled smugglers.
  • The interior was modified to accommodate the crew of mariners, volunteers and literature displays.
  • mariners should not rely upon the position or operation of an aid to navigation.
  • Merchant mariners on survey and long distance cargo vessels can spend extended periods at sea.
British Dictionary definitions for mariners


a formal or literary word for seaman
Word Origin
C13: from Anglo-French, ultimately from Latin marīnusmarine


any of a series of US space probes launched between 1962 and 1971 that sent back photographs and information concerning the surface of Mars and Venus and also studied interplanetary matter
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for mariners



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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