1. Also called standing martingale.
part of the tack or harness of a horse, consisting of a strap that fastens to the girth, passes between the forelegs and through a loop in the neckstrap or hame, and fastens to the noseband: used to steady or hold down the horse's head. See illus. under harness
2. Also called running martingale.
a similar device that divides at the chest into two branches, each ending in a ring through which
the reins pass.
Nautical. a stay for a jib boom or spike bowsprit.
a system of gambling in which the stakes are doubled or otherwise raised after each loss.
1580–90; < Middle French: kind of hose fastened at the back, allegedly < Provençal martegalo, feminine of martegal, inhabitant of Martigue, town in SE France, though sense apparently influenced by Spanish almártaga harness < Arabic al-martaʿah the vein