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marten

[mahr-tn] /ˈmɑr tn/
noun, plural martens (especially collectively) marten.
1.
any of several slender, chiefly arboreal carnivores of the genus Martes, of northern forests, having a long, glossy coat and bushy tail.
2.
the fur of such an animal, generally a dark brown.
Origin
1375-1425
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
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for marten
  • Or the ephemeral artistry of pine marten tracks imprinted in newly fallen snow.
  • And he already got dead fox, marten and whole collection of other species.
  • The noises must have been something small--a mink or marten, possibly an otter.
  • He hunts for her harder than he ever hunted for any grizzly or wolf, fisher or marten.
  • Information on using newspaper boxes for trapping marten.
  • If you take a fisher or marten it must be tagged and sealed.
  • marten may benefit from fire in the short-term due to increased populations of voles, their primary prey.
British Dictionary definitions for marten

marten

/ˈmɑːtɪn/
noun (pl) -tens, -ten
1.
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 See also pine marten
2.
the highly valued fur of these animals, esp that of M. americana
See also sable (sense 1)
Word Origin
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 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for marten
n.

mid-13c., "skin or fur of the marten," from Old French martrine "marten fur," noun use of fem. adjective martrin "of or pertaining to the marten," from martre "marten," from Frankish *martar or some other Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *marthuz (cf. Old Saxon marthrin "of or pertaining to the marten," Old Frisian merth, Middle Dutch maerter, Dutch marter, Old High German mardar, German Marder, Old English mearþ, Old Norse mörðr "marten"), probably from PIE *martu- "bride," perhaps on some fancied resemblance, or else a Germanic euphemism for the real name of the animal, which might have been taboo.

In Middle English the animal itself typically was called marter, directly from Old French martre, but marten took over this sense in English c.1400.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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